Wyoming standout Chad Muma is set to continue an unlikely linebacker pipeline from Laramie to the NFL Draft. While former teammate Logan Wilson establishes himself as an NFL starter, this Wyoming LB has the potential to be even better. A sensational final season for the Cowboys, coupled with a superb Senior Bowl outing and an impressive scouting report, has Muma in position to be one of the top linebackers in this NFL Draft class.
Chad Muma NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Wyoming
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’2 3/8″
- Weight: 241
- Wingspan: 75 3/4″
- Arm: 32 3/8″
- Hand: 10″
Chad Muma Scouting Report
The linebacker class in the 2022 NFL Draft is pleasantly surprising. While we started the year without a consensus LB1 and an apparent lack of depth, at least one of those issues has resolved itself as the season has progressed. Devin Lloyd and Nakobe Dean are now a consensus 1-2 in the class, but a whole host of prospects are battling out for the best of the rest in what has developed into a deep class at the position.
Right at the top of the chasing pack is Wyoming LB Muma. His scouting report is worthy of an early Day 2 selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. His NFL projection is of a starting-caliber inside linebacker or MIKE, who has an overall skill set that ensures he can stay on the field in all phases of the game.
Muma is often referred to as a classic three-down linebacker, and upon watching him, it’s easy to see why. He rushes the passer, plays strong against the run, and has coverage ability — no doubt helped by his experience as a high school defensive back and an impressive athletic profile combined with a high level of football intelligence.
As a pass rusher, Muma attacks gaps with explosiveness and decent straight-line speed. He’s extremely explosive, and it often appears like he’s been fired out of a cannon when he gets a clear run at the quarterback. Furthermore, he flashes excellent lateral agility to redirect around blockers with relative ease.
Ability to disengage, diagnose, and deadly as a tackler
In general, Muma is impressive where blockers are concerned. Not only does he showcase that lateral agility to evade blockers, but he uses his instincts, timing, and some impressive technical ability to disengage and overcome them. This is particularly apparent against the run game.
The Wyoming linebacker has excellent ability to diagnose against the run. He reads the play well and is rarely wrong-footed. Furthermore, he can fill gaps to prevent big running plays. Muma also has impressive sideline-to-sideline range, enabling him to chase down ball carriers. He showcases the full extent of his athletic potential when working downhill.
As a tackler, Muma is a heavy hitter. You don’t want to meet him in the alley. But more than this, he is efficient. In the games studied, he allowed very few broken tackles. He routinely demonstrates excellent technique as a tackler.
Finally, Muma appears to be a leader on the field. He routinely directs teammates in addition to leading with his physical play style. When you add in his special-teams ability and experience, Muma has all the hallmarks of an impressive NFL Draft prospect.
Areas for improvement
While Muma’s scouting report reveals some alluring pro potential, there are some areas for improvement. Furthermore, there are some limiting factors to the Wyoming linebacker’s scouting report.
Despite his 3 interceptions during the 2021 season, Muma has some limitations in coverage. While he’s impressive as an athlete coming downhill, he is a little clunky in his movements when the play is behind him.
Although he’s showcased the ability to use instinct and athleticism — with some technical refinement — to overcome blockers at the college level, he’ll need to finesse that technique to be regularly successful at the NFL level.
Although his high school injury hasn’t caused any college career issues, that could be a red flag leveled against him by NFL teams. We know that high school injuries that led to missed time are something that teams can hold against players.
Chad Muma Player Profile
Legend. The dictionary defines the word as an extremely notorious or famous person, especially in a particular field. It also happens to be a high school in Parker, Colorado. The two may become inextricably linked by Muma, who played his high school football for Legend High School but is also becoming a legend for Wyoming.
Although Muma is creating excitement as a linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft class, he spent most of his high school career playing defensive back. As a result, he was a three-star safety prospect — ranked 149th at the position in the 2018 recruiting class. However, with a father who played linebacker at Wyoming, and a penchant for laying a hit, it was almost inevitable that he’d transition to the position. In his final season for the Titans, he earned second-team All-State Class 5A honors with 77 tackles and 8 tackles for loss.
Injury swayed Muma’s decision to Wyoming
Yet, that doesn’t tell the whole story. After suffering a torn patella injury, Muma only played half of his senior season. Not that you’d be able to tell just by looking at the statistics. The injury also inadvertently impacted his recruiting journey. With offers from Colorado State, Nevada, and Hawaii, Muma had multiple college options but one far outweighed the rest.
“When I hurt my knee back in April, Wyoming always stuck with me and supported me through that,” Muma said. Muma’s commitment helped solidify a change in recruiting approach for the Cowboys. “We looked at the blueprint that had been established when the Cowboys were successful,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said at the time of Muma’s commitment. “There was a long history of recruiting out of the state of Colorado.”
Muma’s career at Wyoming
Arriving in Laramie in 2018, Muma’s opportunities were initially limited. Wilson was the starting linebacker for the Cowboys, and Muma would learn behind him. However, Muma impressed on special teams while appearing in 12 games with 2 tackles. Furthermore, he was able to display his intelligence with a place on the Academic All-Conference team.
His star began to ascend as a sophomore in 2019. Although he made just two starts, Muma appeared in all 13 games for the Cowboys. The Wyoming LB opened the season with a then-career-high 10 tackles against Missouri. During the 2019 season, he tallied 51 tackles, 3 tackles, and 1 sack that included an impressive performance against Tulsa with 1.5 tackles for loss.
With Wilson and Cassh Maluia departing to the NFL Draft, 2020 was Muma’s time to shine. Having waited two seasons for his full-time starting opportunity, he had to persevere through the disruption of the 2020 college football season. The Wyoming linebacker is no stranger to overcoming adversity, however. As a teenager, he’d wanted to play for Air Force, but he knew that dream was unattainable when he was diagnosed with diabetes.
In just six games as a junior, he registered 72 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks. All three led the team, as he emerged as a leader both statistically and on the pitch. Muma logged double-digit tackles in five of the six games, with a career-high 17 versus Colorado State. He also had a career day against UNLV with 3.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.
Muma’s NFL Draft ascension
Although known in Wyoming, Muma has landed on the national stage with a senior season that was statistically sensational. The Cowboys linebacker tallied 142 tackles (8 for loss) and 1.5 sacks. Incredibly, he snagged 3 interceptions, 2 of which resulted in a touchdown. As a result, he was named a finalist for the prestigious Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s top linebacker.
Equally as important for his NFL Draft stock, Muma earned an invite to the Senior Bowl. While in Mobile, the Wyoming linebacker impressed with both his ability to fly to the ball but with coverage skills during the week of practice. Although the game itself has less value than practice, Muma led all players with 9 tackles.
Muma also put on an impressive show at the NFL Combine. A 40″ vertical jump and 10’9″ broad quantified the explosive element that you see on tape. His game speed matches up to his 4.63 40-yard dash time. Meanwhile, his 27 bench reps led all linebackers as the Wyoming product demonstrated an excellent athletic profile.
Although Lloyd and Dean are seen as the top two linebackers and only ones who may receive a first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Muma has asserted himself as the best of the rest. The Wyoming LB is currently the third-ranked player at the position on the Pro Football Network Top 300 Big Board. Furthermore, he sits as a top-50 prospect. With his ability to handle multiple phases of the game, Muma has starting NFL potential.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Chad Muma
Positives: Nasty and violent linebacker with a tremendous head for the game. Instinctive, immediately locates ball handlers, and fires to the action. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands to protect himself, and is incredibly explosive. Drives through tackles, easily bringing opponents down in space. Stays with cover assignments, gets depth on pass drops, and runs downfield with ball carriers. Sells out on the blitz and is forceful up the field. Efficient, takes proper angles, and plays intelligent football.
Negatives: Not smooth scraping laterally. Lacks the ability to quickly flip his hips and transition into coverage. Does not show great speed to the sidelines in pursuit.
Analysis: Muma is a big and tough linebacker who plays like a man possessed. He has shown progress in his game over the past two seasons. Forceful up the field, he also displayed coverage skills during Senior Bowl practices. He moves towards the draft as a Day 2 selection. Muma offers scheme versatility, and I could see him lining up at middle or inside linebacker.