2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Chad Mumaby Charlie Parent January 4, 2022 2 comments
We are still early in the NFL draft process but players are starting to pop out that we haven’t necessarily gotten wind of before. One of these guys is Wyoming’s Chad Muma. The first thing you see when you look at Muma is the make-up of a classic middle linebacker. He’s 6’3″, 245 lbs, and plays with an incredibly high motor. Coming out of a smaller school in Wyoming, it’s natural that Muma hasn’t been talked about as much as some other players but he is slowly rising to stardom, and being top-five in the nation in tackles certainly helps.
This year’s defensive class is loaded. There are tons of more names out there that play a more attractive brand of football in big-time programs than Muma does. However, he can hold his own with these guys and then some. Muma is a player that’s been doubted his whole career. He had only one Division I offer coming out of high school and was scarcely ranked on any major recruiting sites. Muma is poised to continue to prove doubters wrong at the next level and it should hopefully begin with a high draft selection.
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Name: Chad Muma
Jersey: No. 48
Weight: 245 lbs
Games Watched: Boise State (2021), Fresno State (2021), UConn (2021) Boise State (2020)
Major Injury History: None
There’s no doubt that Muma is one of the most instinctual linebackers in this class. He’s on par or almost better than one of his top competitors for LB1 in this area Devin Lloyd. There are countless plays across all the games watched where he is patient enough to decipher the play but quick enough to get his feet moving and attack the ball carrier. One play specifically was against Boise State in 2020 where he was faced with a misdirection reverse and stayed balanced but flew over to the ball carrier and made the tackle excellently.
There might not be a better tackler in this draft class than Muma. He was top-five in the nation in both solo tackles and total tackles. Total numbers were at 80 solos and 129 total on the year in the regular season. As for technique, Muma uses his long arms and big frame to wrap the ball carrier up and wrestle him to the ground. The .25 knock comes from the very rare occasion where Muma flies in a little too fast and gets a tad out of position. Even when this happens, however, Muma has shown the ability to adjust and make some off-balance, shoe-string tackles.
Block Shedding (9.5/10)
Muma is an excellent block shedder and really knows how to break down a block to get off the lineman and get to the ball. There’s no one specific moment we can highlight here because he just does it so often and so well that you grow accustomed to it when watching Muma’s film. We keep comparing Muma to Lloyd because of how highly regarded Lloyd is. This is, however, where Muma has him beat. Lloyd sticks on to blockers like a magnet while Muma gets off his block with ease and goes to work.
Run Defense (9/10)
Naturally, someone with such a gifted ability to deconstruct blocks should be a pretty good run stuffer. That is indeed the case here with Muma. He is able to avoid little chip and chop blocks from an offensive lineman and uses his raw strength to stuff the run off the get-go. Blowing up the run is going to be Muma’s bread and butter in the NFL and he can compliment it with a ton of other strengths that’ll let him operate in plenty of schemes.
Pursuit/Closing Speed (8.25/10)
This is one of Muma’s most controversial areas. The jury is pretty far out on if he has the play speed to last in the NFL. Just from what we’ve seen on the tape, he certainly does. Look, it’s not off the charts sideline-to-sideline speed but it more than gets the job done and allows Muma to close down on the opposition easily. This should not be a fear for Muma at the next level and we can expect him to somewhat prove this at the combine.
Pass Rush Ability (4/10)
Here’s Muma’s biggest weakness. He doesn’t ever rush the passer. While this could be a part of playing to his strengths in a scheme, it’s still an issue and not something you can really expect him to do in the NFL. This is the main concern with Muma entering the NFL. Hopefully, he can develop more skills here to be a multi-dimensional linebacker.
Man Coverage (8/10)
Coverage can be tricky for a guy Muma’s size who may not be the most athletic in the world but he makes it work. It’s not like Muma blankets the guys he’s on but he often shuts down check-downs and the short routes when tasked with doing so. There was one play where he got a little jumbled in sorting out a bunch formation against Fresno State. Muma ended up being led into and subsequently caught up in a sort of pick play. If he could show the consistency to avoid these plays in the future, he’ll probably become a more reliable asset in man.
Zone Coverage (8.5/10)
Muma is a solid overall coverage linebacker. His zone ability is better than his man and you can see a true demonstration of football IQ when Muma drops back into zone. He understands where he’s supposed to be on the field and won’t be over-aggressive trying to fly in and make a play out of position. Muma will filter receivers through his area and can often make some plays on the ball.
Ball Skills (5/5)
Again, a guy with Muma’s size and not crazy athleticism wouldn’t be the first choice to be a stud in this area of his game but Muma is. He had three interceptions this season for Wyoming and showed soft hands when catching the ball. On top of that, two he returned for touchdowns. Not to mention that Muma is often able to disrupt passing lanes with his size.
This is another area of worry but not to the extent that pass-rush was. Muma will certainly be operating as a middle linebacker but the question is can he be used anywhere else. As a matter of fact, he was recruited as a safety out of high school. You’d think that’s an option, but with the muscle he’s added, there’s no shot he can take reps there. Maybe he gets more of an off-ball role at times in the NFL but there’s not too much flexibility overall.
It is still early in the draft cycle but smaller school players are starting to get attention and Muma deserves the spotlight. He’s proven in almost every aspect of his game that he can be a valuable player in the NFL. He’s a sort of a do-it-all type linebacker that will get a role in the NFL and embrace it. The alpha mentality and willingness to do anything for his program gives us a player that NFL front offices will love. Hopefully, enough to where see him selected in the first round.
Rookie Projection: Second-String MLB
Third-Year Projection: Starting MLB, Potential Breakout Year
Final Grade (85.25/100): Early Second Round
Follow Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images