Damien Mama was an early entrant for the 2017 NFL Draft pool, but questionable workout numbers has his stock falling into the late rounds.
Offensive guard Damien Mama arrived at USC as a highly-touted lineman and lived up to that billing, starting 30 games in three seasons. A load at 6-foot-4, 325 pounds, Mama’s size served him well at the college level, proving a mauler in the run game and capable protector in the passing game.
Mama’s high ceiling has many draft scouts projecting him as a potential NFL starter. However, there’s also a reason the lineman is facing projections on Day 3 despite his clearly high upside.
The NFL Combine and USC’s Pro Day put some athletic limitations on display, including a Combine-worst time in the 40-yard dash.
When teams take a look at their draft boards at the end of April, Mama will give them plenty of reasons to pick him, and several big reasons not to.
Scout’s Take on Damien Mama
“If Mama can play the game in a small area and lock onto a target he can not only lock up his defender but also generate movement and create space at the point of attack. However, his limited athleticism means that if he has to close much ground to his assignment or make a block on the move he struggles to be as effective.”— Pro Football Focus
“Power-based guard who can generate movement off the ball, but lacks the balance and bend to be a consistent block sustainer…Could start his career as a backup, but has the size and ability to become eventual starter.”— Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
“He’s a talented player but comes with major red flags. He is constantly fighting to keep his weight down (shed 70-plus pounds at USC). He is still out of shape, he had ridiculously poor workout numbers at the Combine and USC’s Pro Day, and multiple scouts voice concerns about his poor work ethic and lack of accountability. While he’s gifted enough to start at guard in the NFL, the risk-level is too great to gamble on before Day 3.”— ESPN
“He has the raw traits to get the job done at the next level, but the more he continues to focus on the details and mechanics of the position will be the key to his development – projects as a NFL starter.”— Dane Brugler, CBS Sports
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The consensus on Mama seems to point towards a Day 3 selection despite early projections perhaps featuring the lineman on Day 2.
For all his promising ability, there are too many potential snags towards his NFL success.
The sixth round could be a busy one for the Trojans, with similarly positioned feast-or-famine prospects like Justin Davis, Darreus Rogers and Stevie Tu’ikolovatu projecting around the same area.
Still, Mama is likely to go ahead of those three, with a generally higher pro ceiling on his resume.