After taking two edge rusher linebackers on Day Two, the Patriots opt to take a true inside linebacker on Day Two: Cassh Maluia was a three-year starter was Wyoming, playing next to Logan Wilson, with two of them with quality production. He has quality speed and athletic ability that could make him a high-functioning backup at linebacker and a core special teams player.
As a rookie, he’ll compete for one of the final linebacker spots on the roster. In order to earn one of them, Maluia needs to be quicker to diagnose plays and become more aggressive attacking blockers in the run game to make an impact on defense. In the meantime, the Patriots can use his speed and athleticism on special teams where he’ll be making open field tackles and dealing with smaller blockers than offensive linemen.
If he sticks around, Maluia profiles for the Elandon Roberts role of the top backup linebacker who will rotate in for a few snaps to keep Dont’a Hightower and company fresh throughout the year while making his mark on special teams. With the Patriots’ depth at linebacker, they can afford to bring Maluia along slowly and teach him what to look for on the field and to put him in better positions to succeed.
How would you grade the Patriots drafting Cassh Maluia?
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