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Maponga Best Option At Edge Rusher?


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At this point, Nolan needs to try every possible young guy on the DL to see what they can do--even include Shembo in there as a rusher. The vets are old, slow and just not getting it done without some sort of blitz.

Nothing to do with age on this team. Its a talent issue. Osi was always a #2 guy NEVER a number one and now he's pushed in this #1 role with NO help in that area.

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I really hope to see Mop and Mass get more playing time in the next few games. Both of them were in the backfield all night long against Tampa, so hopefully they will get more snaps, and we'll be able to see if it's a testament to their pass rushing ability, or if it was just that Tampas O-line was that bad.

On a side note, Mass played the run really well also.

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One of my favorite picks TD has ever made. He's still growing as a player, but great potential. My thoughts on him from 2012ish:

Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU, 6'2, 265 lbs

Stansly Maponga is a Junior at TCU who didn't finish his degree, which gives me a bit of a negative impression going forward. I prefer to target players who aren't impulsive to this point in regards to entering the NFL, since they tend to be a shade more mature, but since Maponga hasn't been privy to any off-the-field incidents, I don't think I'll let that affect my first impression. A quick glance at his height and weight gives the impression of a tweener, but I know from what I've seen in the past, however little it was, that he's more of an edge rusher. Expectations are for him to run a 4.7-4.8 40. Apparently he's had some issues with injury in regards to his leg, which makes him a prime target for TD (har har). Most boards are of the consensus that he should go round 5 or 6, so I'll go in with those expectations to keep level headed. TCU edge rushers haven't done so well in the NFL, but every prospect is different.

First thing I noticed while watching Maponga is that he's got good leverage and burst off the snap, something that I didn't expect nearly as much given his measurables. Tends to come out of the three point stance and he times the snap very well. He gets double teamed a lot by smaller teams, which is probably a reason his numbers have fallen off since last year, but he does well one-on-one. Even saw him beat a couple of double teams because he was already moving before the lineman could come out of his stance. Started to see triple teams because even when he doesn't get a sack, he gets pressure pretty frequently. Uses a wide array of pass rushing moves to keep the lineman guessing. Good swim and decent bullrush, but his spin is slick and by far and away my favorite quality about him. His hands are always active, but he disappeared on a decent amount of plays and just kind of stood there slapping the lineman's hands away without trying to advance much.

Energetic on the field, appears to be genuinely excited when a teammate makes a play – good attitude to have, a lot of guys just go right back to the LOS. Likes to get active, not exactly showboat, but more of the Spoon type of intensity. Very good motor overall, keeps up with pursuit but I noticed that he gave up on a few plays that weren't going to his side. Very rare to see that happen though. Love that he tends to punch at the ball and try and make them turn it over, though I saw more of that in what little 2011 footage I found than what I found in 2012. Also, what I got from watching him and doing a little research is that he's a team leader, and that should maybe catch the eye of TD since he likes to target that type of player.

Can get walled at the POA and rendered ineffective if his first couple of moves don't work. He sets the edge well but doesn't appear to be anything special when it comes to defending the run. I noticed several plays where he was too aggressive and took himself out of the play. Several more where linemen used his momentum against him and rode him into the ground and just lied there on him for a while. He's not getting any bigger, as he's already rather large for his height, but it's not like he's small persay. Just not all that strong. Weakness is definitely defending the run – he sets the edge pretty well, like I said, and he's not undisciplined, but larger linemen can steer him away from the ball carrier pretty easily because of their size advantage.

Honestly, I came away from this pretty freaking impressed. My expectations weren't too high to begin with, but kinda turned my misconception on itself. His impact on the game wasn't really something you could measure with stats...I feel like the double teams and injury kept him away from being a top 75 player this year, but he's definitely worth that. I like his effort a lot, but I worry about how well he transitions to the NFL as a 3 down player. Mainly saw ability as an edge rusher. Stunned at how overlooked he is though, and it's not like he's bad defending the run – give him a meaty DT on the right to work with and he'll make some great things happen. He won't be doubled in the NFL, which could lead to a breakout year. Definitely some risk involved with a smaller player like he is though, especially since he has an injury history, but I'd take a chance. Doesn't seem that risky to me either. Thanks a lot for showing me him. I had to dig pretty deep to find more than just the KSU game and some highlights, but I came away very impressed. He'll be a steal if he can deal with how different the NFL is. Just worried about how easily he can be handled by big blockers in the run game to be honest.

It's been just over an hour, but I think I can make a decent evaluation based off of what I've seen. If you ask me, he projects well as a RDE, even though he played LDE at TCU. Really hope TD takes a look at him. If I had to compare him...this'll get some hate I'm sure, but he reminds me a lot of a highly unpolished Dwight Freeney. Has the spin move, good motor, very similar measurables in terms of height and weight. Both have great explosiveness off the snap but failed to impress at times in the run game, and Maponga isn't as consistent with his first step just yet. Freeney has a good bit more power and better bullrush but I think Maponga has a better swim move. Freeney's a lot faster, having run a 4.4 at the combine, but I think Maponga should do well in the 10 yard split (which is what really matters). They both like to swipe at the ball when coming up behind the quarterback instead of just going for a big hit, though I'd say Maponga puts his helmet on it more whereas Freeney will swat at it in the midst of making a tackle. Both thrive in the three point stance, and I know I already said it, but their spin move is very similar compared side by side.

In the end, he has a floor of a marginally better Lawrence Sidbury, ceiling of Dwight Freeney-lite. Yeah, he looks ready for the NFL, and the more I think about it, the more I'd like us to take a shot. Could see TD pulling a “WTF is a Corey Peters?” and taking him with our third, but I'd much prefer that we find some way to use our fourth comp on him instead, since I think it's very likely he'll still be available.

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