The Jacksonville Jaguars made seven selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, including two linebackers in the team’s first four picks. One of those linebackers was Chad Muma out of Wyoming. Jacksonville selected Muma in the third round with the 70th overall pick.
What should Jaguars fans know about Muma? Let’s find out.
1. For those who may not be too familiar with Wyoming football, how was Muma used in the Cowboys’ defense, and how big of a difference-maker was he for his team?
Willie: Chad Muma has been the focal point of the Wyoming defense and arguably the best player on the team and in the Mountain West Conference for the past couple of seasons. He has not only been an exemplary leader on defense and the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons (142 total tackles, 85 solo in 2021), but he has also been an impactful spot-filler on special teams when needed. Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has been able to trust Muma’s ability to read opposing offenses and he will sorely miss his presence in 2022. Muma’s anticipation and explosiveness make him a diamond in the rough and a potential steal for the Jags in this year’s draft.
2. Muma showed off his impressive athleticism and explosiveness at the NFL Combine with a 40-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9-inch broad jump. He also looked good in agility drills. How does Muma use these traits to his advantage during the actual football games?
Willie: Over his career at Wyoming, the 2022 third-round pick has showcased an incredibly impressive combination of instincts and IQ and is really all you can ask for in a young linebacker. Combining his mental superiority with his above-average physical traits, Muma anticipates plays before they happen and at times is able to beat elusive wide receivers to their spot because of it. These skills help Muma induce losses of yards, create turnovers and minimize yardage gained.
3. What does Muma do particularly well? What does he need to do better in the NFL?
Willie: I’ve already touched on his IQ, explosiveness, and ability to lead a defense, which are his biggest strengths. If there’s anywhere he needs to improve, I do believe it’s his susceptibility to being exposed in man coverage versus speedy skill players. At times, Muma can be caught a little flat-footed and has difficulty adjusting to the quick cuts of speedy and elusive route-runners.
4. The Jaguars surprised fans by drafting Muma in the third round after already trading up in the first round to draft Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd. Ultimately, the Jaguars couldn’t pass up Muma’s value. Despite other linebackers like Lloyd and Foye Oluokun already expected to get significant playing time for Jacksonville, do you believe Muma can carve out a role early and earn some playing time on defense and/or special teams?
Willie: I could easily see Muma becoming a vital role player and fan favorite in Jacksonville relatively quickly. He has always been an extremely driven hard worker and if he can continue to develop his skills at the next level, something he has given every indication he is capable of doing, he should carve out an important role and be able to get important snaps at some point this season.
5. Does Muma bring any leadership traits with him to Jacksonville? How was he as a teammate at Wyoming? Is there anything else Jaguars fans should know about Muma on or off the field?
Willie: Wyoming Head Coach Craig Bohl and teammates alike have had tons of praise for Chad Muma, the player, and Chad Muma, the person/teammate. Along with his accolades such as being a Butkus Award and Bednarik Award finalist, as well as being a first-team All MWC selection and a second-team All-American, Muma has also been awarded first-team academic awards in past years. He is a bonafide leader and will bring a team-first mentality to Jacksonville.
A big thank you to Willie for his thoughts and insights on Muma. You can follow Willie on Twitter, and for those who are interested in what is going on in the Mountain West Conference, be sure to follow Mountain West Connection as well.