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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    PFW: Maualuga's bust factor scares NFL teams

    Maualuga's bust factor scares NFL teams
    By Nolan Nawrocki
    April 1, 2009

    Entering the season, scouts were enthralled with this year’s MLB class, featuring Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis, USC’s Rey Maualuga and LSU’s Darry Beckwith, all of whom received high marks from evaluators.

    However, as the season progressed, concerns were brought to the forefront. Maualuga began missing too many tackles, Laurinaitis stayed blocked too long and Beckwith could not find the football.

    With a chance to redeem themselves at the NFL Scouting Combine, none of them stood out, as Maualuga pulled out of the workout with a hamstring injury suffered running his first 40-yard dash. On Wednesday, Maualuga has another chance to prove himself at USC's highly anticipated pro-day workout, but the way we hear it, nothing Maualuga does will erase the concerns teams have about him on tape and off the field.

    “Chart how many times he is on the ground,” one longtime evaluator said, “and you will see why I think he will always struggle in the pros. He had so much talent around him — that defense may be as talented as I’ve ever seen in college. It covers up a lot of mistakes.”

    For as fearlessly as Maualuga may run through contact and as violently as he may deliver some big hits, he too often struggles to break down in the open field and gets caught out of position by taking false steps. His instincts still leave a lot to be desired. Scouts that revisit the Trojans’ loss to Oregon State have come away even more unimpressed, as Maualuga’s shoddy tackling was identified as a major reason for the 27-21 loss to the Beavers.

    Despite leading the team with 12 tackles, Maualuga was not able to stop Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers from consistently gashing the defense straight up the gut. Maualuga’s sprained right knee reportedly did not have any swelling after the game when an MRI was taken. However, he did not play against Oregon the following week, as Brian Cushing replaced him in the middle, leading scouts to question how much the benching was related to injury and how much was related to performance, the latter of which inside sources say was a greater factor in his absence.

    Laurinaitis and Beckwith both brought great leadership to the field and have been model citizens off it. The same can not be said for Maualuga, who program sources publicly said had matured after finding trouble early in his career while dealing with his father's battle with cancer.

    Maualuga not only showed poor judgment preceding the Rose Bowl, when he mocked ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, and later apologized, inside sources also have pointed to the need for Maualuga to be closely monitored, as well-trusted fellow linebackers Keith Rivers and Cushing were deliberately assigned to be his roommates on the road to provide the stability he needed to stay out of trouble.

    "He has a high bust factor," said one NFL executive responsible for stacking his team's draft board. "There is a lot there that scares me. There is a right price for everyone, but I would not feel comfortable taking him in the first round where we are picking. The money is too great. You cannot afford to make mistakes and expect to recover from them."

  2. #2
    Bald_81's Avatar
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    Re: PFW: Maualuga's bust factor scares NFL teams

    Let's hope they get scared right to around the 35th pick!

  3. #3
    07McCarthy Guest

    Re: PFW: Maualuga's bust factor scares NFL teams

    haha wow yeah lets hope they scared enough that he drops to us cause haha wow REYREY will not be a bustg

  4. #4
    39thebeast's Avatar
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    Re: PFW: Maualuga's bust factor scares NFL teams

    Besides Curry I think there are better options at LB in rounds 3-6 than there are in rounds 1 and 2. I'd rather get a NT to protect our current LBs and pick up a younger guy like Scott McKillop, Frantz Joseph, Antonio Appleby, or Jasper Brinkley later.

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