There’s someone playing big-time football at a smaller college in the Mountain West Conference that deserves your attention. His name is Chad Muma. He’s a tenacious and instinctive linebacker who has been outstanding in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Muma wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of Lone Tree, Colorado. He was listed as a 3-star recruit and his final commitment choices were Nevada, Wyoming, and the local Colorado State. He decided to play where his father and grandfather played at the University of Wyoming. Since his arrival, he has been nothing short of outstanding.
In 2018 as a freshman, he played in all 12 games primarily on special teams. In 2019, although he only started two of 13 games, he made a tremendous impact on the field. He finished the season with 51 tackles with 28 solo tackles. 2020 was his coming-out party. He finished the season ranked second in the Mountain West and sixth in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.8 per game on his way to a First-Team All-Mountain-West season.
Not to be outdone, he has exploded in 2021. As it currently stands, he is ranked No. 4 in the country for solo tackles at 6.8 per game and currently ranks No. 10 in the nation in total tackles at 9.8. He also leads the nation in interceptions returned for touchdowns with two. As a result, he has been invited to the Senior Bowl, which is the premier showcase for prospective athletes preceding the draft. He’s also a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s best defensive player.
Quite simply, he has been sensational. Let’s look at some of his personal attributes that have contributed to the player he’s become.
For starters, you shouldn’t be surprised at his football IQ and his ability to deconstruct blocks when you discover that he’s a mechanical engineering major. His ability to get guys aligned and execute his assignment gives him the flexibility to play all three linebacker spots in a 4-3. In the run game, he is excellent due to his rare-level instincts in the box. He is heavy at the point of attack and overall has outstanding tackling efficiency in the open field. He rarely misses tackles in the box or in space. In the passing game, he is outstanding, giving him true three-down value. He is athletic enough in coverage to cover running backs on routes. He is outstanding at using his spatial awareness and instincts to get in the passing lanes. He has good hands to secure interceptions, as well. He makes all the calls defensively and easily adjusts with motion.
In the NFL, he can ascend with pro coaching to become a starter at outside linebacker who can play on all three downs. If necessary, he will be a core special teams player who will play on all coverage units. However, this won’t be necessary as he should be a starter on defense.
His former teammate, Logan Wilson, was selected in Round 3 of the 2020 Draft. However, Muma is a more well-rounded and complete player. As it stands, I project that Muma will be selected in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.