With the NFL Combine behind us and the 2022 NFL Draft less than a month away, the final stages of the scouting process are starting to take shape. I’ve been hard at work grinding the tape to bring you detailed breakdowns of some of the top prospects available to the Atlanta Falcons throughout the draft, and I’m excited to finally share them with you now that the athletic testing has been finalized.
First, if you’re unfamiliar with my scouting reports from previous years, you can read about my grading system here. Please keep in mind this system is still in development, and may be adjusted as more data points come in.
Next up is a high-upside prospect from a program that has produced several good NFL linebackers over the years: Wyoming’s Chad Muma. After an elite day of testing at the NFL Combine, how does Muma’s film stack up with the top LBs in the class?
LB | Chad Muma | Wyoming | #48
Games watched: Boise State, Fresno State, Kent State (Bowl), Senior Bowl
Wyoming’s Chad Muma is a player I came to like late in the process, but he’s quickly risen to the top of my target list for the Falcons on Day 2. A prototypically-sized linebacker at 6’2, 239, Muma blew the doors off the Combine with some stellar athletic testing. That athleticism pops on tape, as Muma is exceptionally explosive and has terrific long speed for a player of his size and physicality.
Muma was at his best when allowed to read and react at MIKE. He’s got very good football IQ and highly developed instincts against the run. When kept clean, Muma is a disruptive force with sideline-to-sideline range and excellent tackling skills. He’s a physical hitter who brings relentless effort in pursuit. His production in 2021 was outstanding, as Muma piled up 142 total tackles (83 solo) along with 8.0 TFL and 1.5 sacks.
Muma’s coverage is currently a bit of a mixed bag, but there’s significant upside here. His instincts in zone are generally pretty good, and he’s got plus hands and ball skills (3 INTs and 2 TDs in 2021). But he’s also prone to some lapses, and is unrefined as a man coverage option. Still, his athletic traits and size give him the potential to match-up with RBs and TEs in the future. Muma is a high-upside prospect who can offer an immediate impact against the run, and he’s still got room to grow in coverage and as a blitzer.
Excellent tackler. Hits with tremendous power and physicality. Wide tackle radius with good size and length. Reliable finisher who rarely lets opponents escape his grasp.
Run Defending: 7
Excellent run defender. Physical, aggressive player against the run who closes on opponents quickly. Sideline-to-sideline range and relentless in pursuit. Makes good reads and does a good job of sifting through the trash to disrupt the play. Needs to work on his hand usage as a block shedder.
Above-average coverage player. Exceptional movement skills make him an asset in zone and in limited man coverage assignments. Good ball skills, but some lapses in zone assignments. Unrefined in man coverage but has upside due to his athletic traits and size.
Blitzing/Pass Rush: 4
Solid blitzer who offers limited ability to play at SAM. Explosiveness and long speed help him make plays on run blitzes. Limited pass rushing production and ability to fight off blocks, but there’s upside here.
Flexibility/Lateral Mobility: 6
Good lateral mobility and flexibility. Plus ability to move in space, particularly at his size. Plenty of agility for zone coverage and is able to quickly change direction to follow with the motion of plays.
Football IQ: 7
Excellent football IQ. Makes reads quickly and acts decisively. Good instincts for the run game and rarely fooled by misdirection. Reads the QB well in zone coverage, but can sometimes get caught out of position.
Competitive Toughness: 8
Elite competitive toughness. Effort is unmatched on the field and gives 100% effort on every play. Relentless pursuit player who routinely chased down plays from the backside.
Excellent leadership qualities. On-field team leader with a fiery, passionate demeanor. Trusted to make calls and get the defense aligned.
Above-average versatility. Three-down linebacker who can affect both the run and pass game. Lots of upside in coverage, but currently best deployed in zone. Doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher and can struggle to get off blocks.
Elite production. One of the most consistently disruptive linebackers in college football. 142 total tackles (83 solo) along with 8.0 TFL and 1.5 sacks. 3 INTs in coverage and 2 defensive touchdowns.
Athleticism: 9.77, 20/20
Elite athlete. Prototypical size for the position at 6’2, 239. Elite explosiveness. Very good long speed. Good agility and lateral movement skills.