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darnik44two
01-01-2008, 06:11 PM
Anybody watching the Rose Bowl? Rey Maualuga is playing a monster game. 3 sacks, an INT, and a ton of tackles. I was told I was insane calling him a top 15 prospect, a guy who can play any LB position in any scheme (including and especially 3-4 OLB), and comparing him slightly to shawne Merriman. Well anyone watching see why I feel that way about him? He still may declare this year even though he originally stated he was staying in school. If he does, he's a certain top 15 pick, and will be the first LB taken.

If he comes out this year I'd call him a lock to go to the Patriots. If he doesn't come out, it will be a HUGE mistake. He'll be a top 7 pick and go to the Patriots, what more could he ask for? If he stays, his stock doesn't have a whole lot of room to move up and chances are he'd wind up on a losing team.

Anyone whose watching the Rose Bowl...Can you see why I say he's a great 3-4 OLB prospect? Can you see the Shawne Merriman comparison?

BamaFalcon59
01-01-2008, 06:14 PM
I see a ILB.

But I think steroids might be an issue. Just a hunch.

Great player though.

Babylon
01-01-2008, 06:16 PM
I dont see him playing olb in any defense, he's always played inside. I dont know if he gets the kind of pass drops in cover 2 that you would like but he can get to the ball and hit people. Try not to overreact to 2 quarters of football.

Bosanac01
01-01-2008, 06:19 PM
I see a ILB.

But I think steroids might be an issue. Just a hunch.

Great player though.

I think ur right, I mean the guy beched around 400 in highschool.

mikehop05
01-01-2008, 06:19 PM
I dont see him playing olb in any defense, he's always played inside. I dont know if he gets the kind of pass drops in cover 2 that you would like but he can get to the ball and hit people. Try not to overreact to 2 quarters of football.

you dont need to see much of a player to see what kind of talent he has

darnik44two
01-01-2008, 06:22 PM
I dont see him playing olb in any defense, he's always played inside. I dont know if he gets the kind of pass drops in cover 2 that you would like but he can get to the ball and hit people. Try not to overreact to 2 quarters of football.

These have been my feeling on him for a long time. I just know there are an aweful lot of people watching him today. What he's doing in this game isn't a first for him. 3-4 OLB's are pass rushers first and foremost, it's apparent he a very good pass rusher. He'd be a 15+sack per season guy as a 3-4 OLB.

PalmerToCJ
01-01-2008, 06:22 PM
In watching this game I can't help but think how good he would look in Bengal stripes.

Seems like he plays so well on his instincts and obviously he's just a monster.

darnik44two
01-01-2008, 06:24 PM
In watching this game I can't help but think how good he would look in Bengal stripes.

Seems like he plays so well on his instincts and obviously he's just a monster.

If the Patriots passed on him the Bengals would grab him in a heartbeat. In my last mock and most of my mocks I have the Bengals taking Keith Rivers.

mikehop05
01-01-2008, 06:26 PM
In watching this game I can't help but think how good he would look in Bengal stripes.

Seems like he plays so well on his instincts and obviously he's just a monster.

yeah theres something to be said for the skills people posses that you cant see on paper...

instincts, good football knowledge, tenacity, and having a high motor can compensate for having lackluster speed,strength and build

PalmerToCJ
01-01-2008, 06:26 PM
Can someone give a quick list of his strengths/weaknesses... Don't watch nearly enough college football so I don't want to base wanting him off of this one game haha

He just seems to have "it".

toonsterwu
01-01-2008, 06:29 PM
Rey's a solid prospect, but he's more of an interior backer. We'll have to wait and see on the athleticism, but I'm not sold it's there for him to move to the edge and be compared to a Merriman. He's a tough, instinctive player, but if he comes out, I tend to still think he's a mid-1st - early 2nd type pick unless all the rumors on his potential numbers are off.

As for the Bengals, I don't see Rey. With Ahmad Brooks coming back, I don't see the fit. In Laurinaitis' case, you can slide him to WLB or SLB and be fine. I'm not certain you could do that with Rey.

Texas Homer
01-01-2008, 06:32 PM
He looks darn good. He also looks like he is almost 270 lbs. He carries it well, but he lacks elite closing speed. That being said he hits like a dump truck. If he comes out, he goes 1st round.

darnik44two
01-01-2008, 06:33 PM
Can someone give a quick list of his strengths/weaknesses... Don't watch nearly enough college football so I don't want to base wanting him off of this one game haha

He just seems to have "it".

His two major weaknesses scouts point out is his over-aggression, and he could use some work in pass coverage. Both are very coachable. I'd rather have to settle a guy down a little than have to wind a guy up.

He is extememly strong, his speed is great for a LB (especially one that weighs 260 or so). As you can see his instincts, high motor, and tenacity are among his best attributes. Also like I mentioned in the original post, I think he could play an LB position in any scheme. One more possibily I'll throw out there...Cover 2 DE? He has the size.

Babylon
01-01-2008, 06:34 PM
you dont need to see much of a player to see what kind of talent he has

Maybe you dont but scouts usually like to scout a guy for more than a half of football, of course they dont have your talent:)

darnik44two
01-01-2008, 06:35 PM
Rey's a solid prospect, but he's more of an interior backer. We'll have to wait and see on the athleticism, but I'm not sold it's there for him to move to the edge and be compared to a Merriman. He's a tough, instinctive player, but if he comes out, I tend to still think he's a mid-1st - early 2nd type pick unless all the rumors on his potential numbers are off.

As for the Bengals, I don't see Rey. With Ahmad Brooks coming back, I don't see the fit. In Laurinaitis' case, you can slide him to WLB or SLB and be fine. I'm not certain you could do that with Rey.

No way he makes it out of the top 10, I guarantee. I'm also almost certain he'll wind up declaring this year.

Babylon
01-01-2008, 06:50 PM
No way he makes it out of the top 10, I guarantee. I'm also almost certain he'll wind up declaring this year.


Top 10? that would be nearly impossible.

fenikz
01-01-2008, 06:53 PM
He has played good football for the last two years, he isn't quite the sack artist you make him out to be but he still can cause some havoc from the inside. I'm not really sold on him as a 3-4 OLB as he would need to cover the flats on a regular basis, if he did come out i would expect him to be a 1st round and probably top 20

Paranoidmoonduck
01-01-2008, 06:57 PM
No way he makes it out of the top 10, I guarantee. I'm also almost certain he'll wind up declaring this year.

Even in a weakened field of top prospects, I don't think that Maualuga is going to post numbers anywhere close to what Patrick Willis was able to do last year, and his production and discipline on the field isn't anywhere close.

I like him as a player though, and I think that he'll get a lot of looks in the mid to late 1st depending on how he works out.

Jericho@SC
01-01-2008, 07:18 PM
I see a ILB.

But I think steroids might be an issue. Just a hunch.

Great player though.

Just because he's huge doesn't necessarily mean he's dong steroids. Anyone can point to a strong kid like Vernon Gholston and cry wolf.

Maualuga is Samoan. I'd say it's a pretty good bet that he's naturally big.

As for Maualuga's playing ability, his instincts are good and bad. He tends to overpursue, but can show a nose for the ball at times also. For those that say he doesn't have elite speed, what is elite speed for a LB? He doesn't run a 4.4, but how many LB's do? He reportedly ran in the 4.5s during Spring Practice this year, so he's probably really a low 4.6 runner. Regardless, from watching him, can't you just tell that he plays fast? If you saw him running down Juice Wililams for a sack when he was spying him, you'd know what I mean.

Pass coverage, he's actually been a weak point in the USC defense. He has trouble dropping back deep in the Tampa 2 zone, which allowed teams like Stanford to complete deep balls in the middle and win against the Trojans.

Rushing the passer, he's good at bullrushing blocking college RB's and FB's. Not sure if he can do that against NFL sized backs. He has trouble rushing up the middle and shedding O-line blocks. It seems sometimes he runs right into the teeth of the O-line and gets stuck there, not getting any penetration. As an outside 3-4 LB, he might possibly have success rushing off the edge because of his speed.

Overall, prospects don't get much better from a physical standpoint than Maualuga. I think he can become a Rey Lewis sideline to sideline MLB in time if he stays one more year and works on overpursuing and staying in position. But then again, if he's physically ready maybe some NFL team can work on that with him -but it seems that those are basic aspects that teams would want to see from a MLB coming out instead on having a project.

*Edit. Also, I forgot to mention that Maualuga is the hardest hitter in all of college football. Most people would agree with that. In fact, that's probably his reputation at this point.

darnik44two
01-01-2008, 07:19 PM
Even in a weakened field of top prospects, I don't think that Maualuga is going to post numbers anywhere close to what Patrick Willis was able to do last year, and his production and discipline on the field isn't anywhere close.

I like him as a player though, and I think that he'll get a lot of looks in the mid to late 1st depending on how he works out.

The Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, and Saints will be all over him if he declares. I could also see the Chiefs showing him alot of interest. Those are all top 10 teams. Outside of the top 10 I could see 11-17 being interested (Bills, Broncos, Panthers, Bears, Lions, Cardinals, and Vikings being interested. The Titans, Steelers, Giants, and Jaguars will probably all love him as well.

Babylon
01-01-2008, 07:24 PM
Just because he's huge doesn't necessarily mean he's dong steroids. Anyone can point to a strong kid like Vernon Gholston and cry wolf.

Maualuga is Samoan. I'd say it's a pretty good bet that he's naturally big.

As for Maualuga's playing ability, his instincts are good and bad. He tends to overpursue, but can show a nose for the ball at times also. For those that say he doesn't have elite speed, what is elite speed for a LB? He doesn't run a 4.4, but how many LB's do? He reportedly ran in the 4.5s during Spring Practice this year, so he's probably really a low 4.6 runner. Regardless, from watching him, can't you just tell that he plays fast? If you saw him running down Juice Wililams for a sack when he was spying him, you'd know what I mean.

Pass coverage, he's actually been a weak point in the USC defense. He has trouble dropping back deep in the Tampa 2 zone, which allowed teams like Stanford to complete deep balls in the middle and win against the Trojans.

Rushing the passer, he's good at bullrushing blocking college RB's and FB's. Not sure if he can do that against NFL sized backs. He has trouble rushing up the middle and shedding O-line blocks. It seems sometimes he runs right into the teeth of the O-line and gets stuck there, not getting any penetration. As an outside 3-4 LB, he might possibly have success rushing off the edge because of his speed.

Overall, prospects don't get much better from a physical standpoint than Maualuga. I think he can become a Rey Lewis sideline to sideline MLB in time if he stays one more year and works on overpursuing and staying in position. But then again, if he's physically ready maybe some NFL team can work on that with him -but it seems that those are basic aspects that teams would want to see from a MLB coming out instead on having a project.

*Edit. Also, I forgot to mention that Maualuga is the hardest hitter in all of college football. Most people would agree with that. In fact, that's probably his reputation at this point.


Excellant post.

keylime_5
01-01-2008, 07:28 PM
He's good, but not top 10 good. They say he's a mid to late first round guy. Laurinaitis is certainly gonna go before him, but that might not matter - James said he wants to do like AJ Hawk and play all four years of college ball. Who knows, we might see JL vs Rey this fall when OSU visits Los Angeles.

djp
01-01-2008, 07:30 PM
In watching this game I can't help but think how good he would look in Bengal stripes.

Seems like he plays so well on his instincts and obviously he's just a monster.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2211337

Coincidence?

Mr. Stiller
01-01-2008, 07:35 PM
I don't want to be a Debbie Downer.

Maualuga did have a monster performance.

But does anyone think it may just be the sheer fact that Illinois has a terrible Oline and non-existant Passing game? 2 of the sacks he was unblocked. And that INT Juice never even looked anyone off right off the snap. 90% of MLB's would cash in those plays.

That said I agree he's the hardest hitter in all of college football.

Paranoidmoonduck
01-01-2008, 07:38 PM
The Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, and Saints will be all over him if he declares. I could also see the Chiefs showing him alot of interest. Those are all top 10 teams. Outside of the top 10 I could see 11-17 being interested (Bills, Broncos, Panthers, Bears, Lions, Cardinals, and Vikings being interested. The Titans, Steelers, Giants, and Jaguars will probably all love him as well.

You could say this about any physically impressive prospect who plays a position that tends to have more than one starter. It's one thing to say that all those teams could use an awesome linebacker, and another completely to say that Maualuga is that linebacker.

Maualuga had a great game against Illinois, but he's a player who has discipline issues both on and off the field and hasn't always performed like he did in this one game. He isn't as consistent a player as prospects like AJ Hawk or even James Laurinaitis, and I really heavily doubt that he can come close to the kind of offseason Patrick Willis had.

Maualuga wouldn't just have to do a lot of things right this offseason, he'd have to do everything perfectly (including team interviews) to be a serious top 10 consideration in a fairly impressive and talented field of defensive playmakers.

PACKmanN
01-01-2008, 09:06 PM
to me i would compare him more to Nick Barnett.

IndyColtScout
01-01-2008, 09:10 PM
to me i would compare him more to Nick Barnett.

Rey would be an absolute perfect fit for the Patriots. He would have vets and great coaches to help him become a better player. They also wouldn't have to rush his development.

I personally agree with the original poster that if he has a above average to great combine, I would consider him a lock for NE.

PS: PACKmanN is afraid to get beat by me in Madden 08.

Babylon
01-01-2008, 09:21 PM
Rey would be an absolute perfect fit for the Patriots. He would have vets and great coaches to help him become a better player. They also wouldn't have to rush his development.

I personally agree with the original poster that if he has a above average to great combine, I would consider him a lock for NE.

PS: PACKmanN is afraid to get beat by me in Madden 08.

Not sure he could handle the complex Patriot schemes, he isnt going top 10 in the draft, he probably wasnt even the best linebacker on his own team.

Iamcanadian
01-01-2008, 09:34 PM
Rey's a solid prospect, but he's more of an interior backer. We'll have to wait and see on the athleticism, but I'm not sold it's there for him to move to the edge and be compared to a Merriman. He's a tough, instinctive player, but if he comes out, I tend to still think he's a mid-1st - early 2nd type pick unless all the rumors on his potential numbers are off.

As for the Bengals, I don't see Rey. With Ahmad Brooks coming back, I don't see the fit. In Laurinaitis' case, you can slide him to WLB or SLB and be fine. I'm not certain you could do that with Rey.

He's definitely an ILB and the Pats would love to draft him if he declares. He can definitely play ILB in a 3-4, his speed will determine if he can be great in a 4-3 as a MLB. There is no way he is drafted as an OLB or DE in a Cover 2.
I could see him in the top 10 if he declares. His upside is through the roof.
He's got a nasty streak but can get out of control on occasion but in my opinion he is the closest to Junior Seau I've seen.

Babylon
01-01-2008, 09:48 PM
He's definitely an ILB and the Pats would love to draft him if he declares. He can definitely play ILB in a 3-4, his speed will determine if he can be great in a 4-3 as a MLB. There is no way he is drafted as an OLB or DE in a Cover 2.
I could see him in the top 10 if he declares. His upside is through the roof.
He's got a nasty streak but can get out of control on occasion but in my opinion he is the closest to Junior Seau I've seen.


I think what will drop him some is character concerns over the years and his pass coverage, he doesnt seem to pick up receivers very well although SC plays some weird zone coverages.

Iamcanadian
01-01-2008, 10:24 PM
I think what will drop him some is character concerns over the years and his pass coverage, he doesnt seem to pick up receivers very well although SC plays some weird zone coverages.

There are some concerns but I doubt it holds him back. He has a nasty streak and believe me that is a huge positive for an ILB in the NFL. As for concerns over his pass coverage, that is what they said about Willis last year. if he has the speed I think he possesses, I think some team will take him early.

Number 10
01-01-2008, 10:40 PM
He announced that he is 100% returning for his senior season.

thebow305
01-01-2008, 10:40 PM
I agree completely darnik, kid is an absolute stud, top ten pick for sure if he comes out. I've like this kid for a while now, would love the phins to trade down a bit and take him.

I love Cushing even more though, any idea if he will come out and what range he would go if he did?

BuddyCHRIST
01-01-2008, 10:48 PM
lets stop the OLB talks because he's always been an ILB and really ILB's that can play in 3-4 are so rare that no one would want to move him. Most college backers coming out are weak side guys and are a bit lighter. Theres not many college LB's coming out at 260 LB's and there's alot of DE/OLB tweeners and most guys if they are put in that position where they can just rush the passer all day will be pretty effective. None the less I don't see him going Top 10 just because I don't think he will run well, not to say he isnt fast on the football field but he doesn't look like a track fast guy. Still he's an excellent player and imo a pretty rare prospect.

diabsoule
01-01-2008, 11:00 PM
I don't think this one performance is going to change the fact that he's going to return to USC for another year. He's been playing like this all year.

DWilliams2IndyColts
01-02-2008, 01:00 AM
I was told I was insane calling him a top 15 prospect, a guy who can play any LB position in any scheme (including and especially 3-4 OLB), and comparing him slightly to shawne Merriman. If I'd of seen it I would have agreed.

Mr. Stiller
01-02-2008, 06:16 AM
He announced that he is 100% returning for his senior season.

I believe Vince Young did that as well before a very good Rose Bowl Showing.

Matthew Jones
01-02-2008, 08:44 AM
I could definitely see him declaring, especially if Laurinaitis returns. I'd be shocked if he didn't turn in his papers, and the draft board would likely give him a first round grade. It'd be hard to pass on being the first inside linebacker chosen (if Laurinaitis stays) and getting a first round draft grade.