USA TODAY Sports
Most people were shocked when Maponga announced he was coming out early, expecting him to stay and improve his stock during his senior campaign.
I didn't expect Maponga to leave early, and I know I'm not the only one. An injured ankle that kept him out for two and a half games, and limited his ability to get to the quarterback when he returned made it seem more than likely he would regroup, get stronger, and come back to dominate the Big 12 across from Devonte Fields in 2013.
However that is not the case, and he's fighting an uphill battle to earn a high pick in the draft.
In 2011, Maponga dominated, leading TCU in tackles for loss with 13.5, sacks (9), forced fumbles (5) and fumbles recovered (2).
2012 has been well documented for Maponga, and we all know it wasn't as great of a year. He finished with only 6.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks, and was clearly not feeling completely healthy from the SMU game through the end of the season.
However, he still commanded double teams when he was in. There's no doubt that when he was on the field, Devonte Fields was a little more free to put the hurt on opposing quarterbacks.
There's also no doubt that if Maponga shows well at TCU's Pro Day and the NFL Combine, to which he has officially been invited, he could start to repair his image a little.
Maponga's measurables are a little small, he's 6'2" 265 pounds, but he's got the motor and the skills off the line to be very effective in this league. Gaining the 5-15 pounds needed shouldn't be a problem for him, and despite his height, he should still be a solid contributor at the next level.