Many of us looked at Stansly Maponga when he was drafted and noted a sharp dropoff in production for his junior year. In his sophomore year, he posted nine sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Last year, those numbers dipped to four and six.
While it was easy to call his sophomore year a fluke, we've heard again and again how much the Falcons like Maponga and believe the talent is real. We may finally have an explanation for that 2012 dip in production that helps us piece together why the Falcons invested a fifth round draft pick in the TCU product.
Rookie defensive end Stansly Maponga, who’s recovering from left foot surgery in March, will be available at the start of training camp, but will likely be limited the first two weeks.
I knew he had battled through some injury issues his junior year, but it sounds like the foot may have been a real limiting factor for his junior season. If that's the case, and the Falcons believe the explosive pass rusher from 2011 is what Maponga is capable of going forward, then this pick may end up looking like a steal down the line.
The Falcons won't count on Maponga for a ton of snaps in 2013, and the recovery from this injury may slow his development early on. We can all hope he's got a bright future in the black and red, however.