STRENGTHS - Maponga is a stocky, thickly built defensive end prospect. When he plays with good snap awareness, he has a good first step and can be disruptive into the backfield. He is a pass rush specialist and does an adequate job of turning the corner and getting to the quarterback. He has long arms and possesses big, strong hands which he uses to keep blockers at bay. Maponga shows the ability to strike the ball carrier violently. He has been relatively healthy throughout his career at TCU.
WEAKNESSES - Maponga is a little bit out of position as a defensive end as he is shorter at 6'2" tall. He doesn't have the foot speed to play OLB in a 3-4 and looks to be forced into playing in a 4-3 as a defensive end. While he does possess good first step quickness when he anticipates well, he doesn't have great athleticism and explosiveness. He uses his long arms to lock out linemen in college, but he won't have that luxury at the next level. Maponga is very deficient at defending the run and is currently a very big liability in this area of the game. He lacks instincts, but the reality is that he is a pass rusher and this is his first and constant priority. For a player who displays a decisive first step, he really suffers from a lack of closing speed and won't make a lot of plays in space. Maponga looks like a player teams will have to force from a positional perspective.
SUMMARY - TCU's Stansly Maponga is a thick, well-built athlete who is a pure pass rusher, but he is seriously deficient in run defense and is a player that teams might have to platoon on third downs. While he possesses a quick first step, he only really shows that when he can correctly guess on the snap of the ball. He struggles to close on the ball in space and looks a little slow as he turns the corner trying to get to the quarterback. When looking at his arsenal of pass rush moves, he doesn't have many bullets in the chamber as he relies heavily on speed around the corner. While he has long arms for a shorter player and he uses them to lock out and keep linemen at bay, he struggles to disengage and shedding blockers is not a strength. He is seriously deficient against the run and can't be relied upon in college to play the run. This is an enormous problem as he enters the next level, and currently he would have to play in pass rush situations only. He is not an instinctual player as he is primarily focused on the pass rush, and there are times on tape when he will over-run the ball carrier to get up the field. There are questions about his position in the NFL as he doesn't possess the quickness to play outside linebacker in a 3-4. For that reason, he may be stuck into playing defensive end in a 4-3, but there are limitations with his height and size/speed combination. Maponga can get to the quarterback and that's a highly sought after skill in today's NFL, and there is value in selecting a player like him. He warrants a fifth-round grade because of the strengths and weaknesses as described above.