Drew Boylhart 12/08
Rey Maualuga LB USC
Rey is a very quick, powerful LB who has excellent size and speed to stuff the run right at the line of scrimmage. His size is his biggest -- and best -- attribute. Rey shows leadership through his play on the field. He looks like he loves the contact and for a run-stuffing LB, it is mandatory that the LB give out the punishment and not take the punishment when tackling a RB. Rey gives out the punishment! Boy, does he give it out!
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
There are a lot of small issues that bother me about Rey, but not enough to downgrade him overall. His drops in the passing game are ok at the college level, but not good enough for the NFL level. He has a weight problem and it affects his quickness to the ball. He has played games with less passion than other games and this year, it looks like he is thinking way too much and not reacting. Rey does not look to be a vocal leader and I like a vocal MLB. All of these nagging issues bother me, but in spite of them, Rey is still a first round talent.
TALENT BOARD ROUND 1
I think I am bothered more by his weight than any other issue. If this kid is too heavy, he will not be the LB that everyone, including myself, thinks that he will be. At best, he will just be a two down LB who is used in goal line situations. I like my LB's in the first round to come out of college and have the athleticism to play more than one LB position. I don't think Rey can do that. He is a MLB in a 4-3 or an ILB in a 3-4; if he gains too much weight, he will be limited to just being a ILB in a 3-4. The question is, will Rey be prideful enough to not gain too much weight and prove to himself and others that he will be a great LB. He has first round talent. There is no doubt about that. But I think there might be other LB's in this class that I would take in the latter rounds that can impact as much as Rey can in a limited situation. Rey is a "boom or bust" type of player strictly because of his weight and to tell you the truth, I don't have the answer if I would draft him early in this draft other than to say buyer beware! If this kid drops to the second round, then he's a steal. But if you draft him too early in the first, you might not have drafted the next great MLB, you might have drafted Rey (The Michelin Tireman) Maualuga.