According to reports, the New England Patriots are looking to shore up their inside linebacking core by adding another top notch talent come April. When looking at inside linbacker prospects for 2009, the one name that really jumps out to me is Rey Maualuga.
While Mauauluga may not be around at 23, if he is, he would be quite a steal.
Maualuga is explosive, to say the least. He has very good initial quickness and gets a full steam of speed very quickly. At 6-2, 249, has ideal strength to shed blockers, as well as the quickness and hand-work to do so as well. Is a very hard hitter, consistently punishing receivers, quarterbacks, and ball carriers. Is very instinctive and fluid, and while he may not run a very fast 40 yard dash, he is very football fast, and thus excels in coverage.
Is a hard hitter, and is sometimes overaggressive, going in to lower the shoulder, and occasionally missing tackles. Did not time well at the combine. Has had some off the field issues, including an arrest back in 2005.
Rey Maualuga could come in and contribute immediately at inside linebacker for the Patriots. He could be used immediately as a rotational player on first and second downs (coming in for Bruschi), and occasionally subbing for Gary Guyton on passing downs. He would likely become a starter in 2010.
Patriots Draft Prospects