LB Chad Muma, Wyoming

6’3” – 242 lbs.

Background:

Moved from defensive back to linebacker as a high school senior. Played on special teams as a freshman at Wyoming, then rotated into the defense heavily the following year, finishing with 51-3.0-1.0. Bulked from 220 to 227 as a junior, stepping into a full-time starting role and racking up a whopping 71-8.0-3.0 in just six games. Bulked to 242 as a senior and posted 142-8.0-1.5 with three interceptions (two touchdowns) and a blocked kick.

Positives:

One of the most productive college linebackers in this year’s class. Has long limbs and has added over twenty pounds of bulk since arriving at school. Was asked to do a little bit of everything in college, lining up both inside and outside and handling various responsibilities. Plays with a high motor and sense of urgency. Speed and movement skills are impressive; can really see the influence of his high school background as a defensive back. Has true sideline-to-sideline range. Looks comfortable dropping into zone or carrying opponents downfield in man; very good at handling wheel routes or carrying opponents into the flats. Clean backpedal and loose hips. Processes route combinations very well from zone. Excellent closing speed when planting and driving; can generate some pop on contact. Pretty explosive as an A-gap blitzer, with relatively good contact balance to slip between blockers and generate pressure. Closes fast when’s working as a spy and has a lane.

Negatives:

Frame still looks a little bit thin. Looks reactive rather than anticipatory at times; takes some false steps and gets into some plays because of his speed, rather than his instincts/recognition skills. Tends to work around rather than through blockers, taking him out of some run plays. Could be more consistent about keeping his shoulders square when working through traffic, and getting more consistent extension. Can play a little bit out of control at times, leading to missed tackles or inefficiencies in his angles; would like to see him break down more consistently in space. More of an effort-based approach as a pass-rusher than sophisticated technique with his hands, with modest production as a blitzer. Occasional clunky transitions in coverage.

Summary:

A highly-productive college linebacker who’s still adding functional strength and could improve his diagnostic speed, reduce false steps, and clean up his angles in pursuit, but who already has some intriguing traits, most significantly his impressive athleticism and ability to execute various coverage assignments from different defensive alignments. Should be able to contribute on special teams and as a coverage linebacker in sub packages, but how many of the early snaps he can work his way onto the field for will depend on his progress in the other areas mentioned.

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