Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go back and watch more than one game from Maponga this past season. But I had broken down last year’s bowl game, so I will also factor in my notes from that game as part of this ...
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go back and watch more than one game from Maponga this past season. But I had broken down last year’s bowl game, so I will also factor in my notes from that game as part of this evaluation.
Height: 6-1 7/8
School: Texas Christian
Speed: 4.81 (Campus)
Maponga was born in Zimbabwe, but moved to the United States when he was a child. His career path to the NFL mirrors that of Falcons teammate Jonathan Massaquoi. Massaquoi, a native of Liberia came to the U.S. at a young age as well. Massaquoi shined at Troy during his sophomore year, but his production fell off as a junior. But he wound up declaring for the NFL draft and probably not going as high as he initially envisioned (fifth round). Maponga had a strong sophomore campaign, emerging as one of TCU’s top pass rushers with 9 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He looked much more pedestrian as a junior, although he was somewhat limited by a broken foot in October. But he only managed 1 sack and 2.5 tackles for loss in the six games prior to the injury. His production actually went up over the final 5 games with 3 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. Maponga opted to declare for the draft. TCU has been a school that has produced a steady line of productive pass rushers at the collegiate level, but not as many have translated well to the pro game in recent years. Jerry Hughes has struggled in Indianapolis since being a top pick, and players like Chase Ortiz, Tommy Blake, and Wayne Daniels are recent players that produced at TCU, but could not translate at all to the NFL level. If Maponga does find success at the next level, he will be the first former Horned Frog since Aaron Schobel (2001-09). Maponga was primarily used as a left defensive end while at TCU, able to exploit the slower feet of many right tackles.
2012: 11 GP/9 GS, 26 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 4.0 sacks, 0 INTs, 1 PD, 2 FF, 0 FR
- Missed 2 games due to injury in 2012 with a broken foot
2012 GAMES WATCHED
at Texas (11/22): 3 pressure, 0.5 sacks, 1 FR, 1 key blocked
2011 GAMES WATCHED
vs. Louisiana Tech (12/21): 2.5 pressures, 1 TFL, 1 run stuff
These are general skills required for his position and relative to not only top collegiate prospects, but also NFL players. Grades are based on a 10-point rating scale: 1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Strength (4.5) – Maponga tested well at the Combine on the bench press (30 reps), but you don’t see that sort of strength or power on the field. He can get pushed around a bit too easily by tight ends and often gets more than he gives when trying to take on a lead blocker. He isn’t a strong tackler either, missing a number of wrap tackles. He doesn’t show great power or strength when trying to use a bull rush.
Quickness (7.0) – Maponga has nice edge quickness, particularly when he’s in a wide technique and can pin his ears back. You get him in that track stance that is often used in the Wide-9 technique, and he can get upfield with his first step. He has enough speed to set up right tackles and thus has the potential to develop a good counter move. Right now, his spin move isn’t particularly effective as a counter move.
Pass Rush (5.0) - Maponga only really showed adeptness at the most basic speed rush off the edge. Will use his hands to slap down the punch of the offensive tackle with a basic swim move. Doesn’t really use a rip move. Showed ability to get extension with inside arm on the speed rush to generate some power. Knows how to get his hands inside when trying to bull rush, but largely non-effective since he lacks power and strength to drive blocker backwards.
Point of Attack (4.0) – Doesn’t quite know how to take on and shed blocks. Has trouble disengaging bo