POD Community Mock Draft: Pick No. 12

Mock_draft_logo_medium Denver_broncos_medium
Rd. # Player Pos. College
1 12 Rey Maualuga LB Southern Cal
General Manager: tricks318

With the twelfth pick of the 2009 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos select Southern Cal linebacker Rey Maualuga.

Here is tricks318's reasoning for the pick:

It's a tough call, but I gotta go with Rey Maualuga here. The Bronco's biggest need, one that is painfully obvious to anyone who watched them last year, is the run defense. They have been trying different quick fixes for the past few years, and despite changing defensive coordinators just about every year, none of them worked. The new coach, McDaniels, has announced that the team will be transitioning to a 3-4 defense, meaning getting in new players will be even more important. First priority for me would be a big time NT, but with Raji off the board, there aren't any that won't be there later. With Tyson Jackson already gone, there really isn't anyone left to play DE either.

That leaves me with either a linebacker, or a secondary player. In my opinion, the best player in the secondary for this entire class is still here, Malcolm Jenkins, and he could fill in at either CB or one of the safety spots, but Denver brought in Dawkins to help with the secondary, and Bailey is still a good enough corner to hold off on a CB. So, I'm thinking its going to end up being a linebacker, and there are really only 2 that I know won't be there by my next pick, Everette Brown, and Rey Maualuga. Brown played DE in college but is undersized for that in the NFL and could end up as a Lamar Woodley type in a 3-4 defense, and I was leaning towards him at first, but Denver already has a "tweener" type DE/OLB they drafted a few years back in Jarvis Moss, and they don't have anyone who can play the Strongside Inside LB, which is where Maualuga comes in.

Maualuga is a big boy, he played his final season at USC at around 250, a good 15 or so pounds lighter than he was the previous year. Despite his size, he moves incredibly well, and is actually above average in pass coverage. The biggest thing about Maualuga, and the thing that sold me, is the physicality which he plays with. Youtube his name and you'll find video after video of him KO'ing Qb's and blowing Rb's off their feet. It's not the same as a dominant nosetackle, but Maualuga's physicality can draw attention off of the other LB I presume will be playing next to him, DJ Williams, who is incredibly fast but cannot shed blocks. Maualuga is a unique talent, a big, physical linebacker who can engage interior lineman but also drop back and cover tight ends. That doesn't come around very often, and you can't pass up possibly building your defense around him.

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