Maualuga (6-foot-2, 254 pounds) is a big-hitting linebacker with excellent quickness and instincts. He has red flags related to alcohol and fighting, but his productivity may make him too good to pass up if he's on the board at No. 16.
He finished his career at USC with 275 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks and five interceptions.
|LB Scott McKillop|
McKillop (6-foot-1, 243 pounds) is a productive and instinctive player who was named the 2008 Big East Defensive Player of the Year. During his career, he recorded 344 total tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three interceptions.
McKillop is oft criticized for his lack of elite speed and athleticism. However, he feels he has all the skills needed to become an elite defender on the next level.
"I just think with being a white linebacker, you get labeled as an overachiever in college. I think I can play," he said.
3. Cal LB Zack Follett (Senior Bowl, Combine)
Follett (6-foot-2, 231 pounds) is a punishing hitter who plays with reckless abandon on every snap. He also has a connection with Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who himself is a former Bear.
Follett has the stats to catch Rivera's attention. He finished his college career with 242 total tackles, 51 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks and one interception.
"My coach always said, 'Do your job and the plays will come.' I'm the type of player if I'm not making a play, I tend to strain a little more to make a play. Having me in a position to make plays would suit me the best," he said.
|LB Darry Beckwith|
Beckwith (6-foot-1, 233 pounds) is a tenacious linebacker with great speed and fluid hips. He also has the versatility to play inside or outside.
"It's a great asset to my game," he said. "I have the ability to play both middle and outside linebacker. I have great cover skills and can cover tight ends and backs one-on-one," he said.
Character could be an issue with Beckwith. He was arrested for criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment in April 2007, although the charges were later dropped.
5. USC LB Kaluka Maiava (Combine)
Maiava (6-feet, 232 pounds) is instinctive and has good lateral agility. Although he often got lost in the shadows of USC's Big Three, he finished his career with great numbers: 164 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and two interceptions.
|LB Clay Matthews|
Matthews (6-foot-3, 246 pounds) began his college career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship and eventually a starting position. He is a member of a football family with an incredible pedigree; several of his relatives have NFL experience.
"It's been a career of ups and downs and obviously walking on is not a typical path of someone going to SC and being in the position I am today," he said.
Matthews is athletic and well built for the job, but his late-first-round draft projection makes him a tough target for San Diego.
7. SDSU LB Russell Allen (Private Visit)
Allen (6-foot-2, 237 pounds) was a four-year starter and a two-time captain for San Diego State. During his career, he racked up 375 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, four recovered fumbles and three interceptions.
Although the Chargers brought Allen in for a private visit, that may not mean as much as it would seem. Because Allen is an in-state prospect, his visit does not count as one of the Chargers' 30 visits as allowed by the NFL.
8. Oklahoma LB Nic Harris (Combine)
Harris (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) is athletic and very instinctive. However, because of his slower times at the Combine and his Pro Day, he may be considered a linebacker instead of a strong safety.
Harris is comparable to Thomas Davis, the former Georgia safety who made the switch to linebacker for the Carolina Panthers after being selected in the first round of the 2005 draft.