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Scouting Report
Maponga decided to forego his final season of eligibility and enter the draft after recording 15 1/2 sacks at TCU. A natural pass rusher off the edge who boasts excellent quickness and reacts well to avoid cut blocks, Maponga is deceptively strong and exhibits a good first step to turn the corner on blockers. He's also very adept at creating turnovers, having forced eight fumbles in his career. Maponga knocks the ball loose using his strong and active hands, and his use of speed to reach the quarterback and dislodge the ball is reminiscent of New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. The 2011 season is what put Maponga on NFL teams' radars, as he posted 55 tackles and 13 1/2 for loss in addition to nine sacks and five forced fumbles. His stats dropped off in 2012, when he registered 26 tackles - 6 1/2 for loss - and four sacks. That was due in large part to two factors: Constant double-teaming and a leg injury that caused him to miss two games and half of another. The injury may give some teams pause, as will Maponga's biggest red flag: His less-than-ideal height for a defensive end. However, he's able to somewhat minimize that issue with his long arms, which give him an improved chance to alter and knock down passes as well as hold off blockers and create separation. He's proved to be strong at the point of attack, perhaps dispelling the notion that he's little more than a pass-rushing specialist. Maponga only participated in the bench press at the NFL combine and did 30 reps, tying for fifth among defensive linemen. His pass-rushing ability that incorporates speed, quickness, power and a deceptive spin move will be his ticket to the NFL. Though this draft is deep in players who can get to the quarterback, Maponga may go in the middle to late rounds. He'll have to overcome inconsistency and a lack of polish in other facets to become a regular contributor.