Why the Redskins should draft him: Because enough people have compared him to Ray Lewis to make him intriguing. He's a dynamic playmaker and a fierce hitter. He would instantly add a physical presence to the lineup. The knocks on him are similar to what people said about Junior Seau when he left USC. Maualuga could play on the strongside for a year or two and then replace London Fletcher in the middle. One evaluator, when asked about Maualuga's coverage skills, said they're similar to Ray Lewis' when he came out of college. Just imagine Maualuga playing behind Cornelius Griffin and Albert Haynesworth. The Redskins could get Maualuga at 13 and possibly even trade down and still select him.
Why they shouldn't: One executive I trust rates him as the third best linebacker coming out of USC. He thinks he's only a two-down linebacker and would be a major liability in pass coverage if forced to play three downs. Maualuga is a freelancer who often hits the wrong gaps. Playing behind another freelancer in Albert Hayensworth would make for a boom-or-bust defense. Also, the exec worried about his ability to handle the NFL lifestyle. Maualuga had a better junior season and might be too much of a freelancer to fit into the Redskins' defense, particularly in the middle. They could get a solid linebacker in the third round, perhaps Scott McKillop form Pitt.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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