By John Turney
HERE. I remember when Smith wrote THIS a few years back and appreciated it as well. Additionally, The Big Lead posted a story last year on the same subject and it was well done.
To Smith's post I would add the following:
While it is true Mamula was drafted higher than he would have been if he had not turned in a stunning combine performance, but he was likely going to be a first-round pick in the 1995 NFL Draft anyway, albeit a late first-round pick, if he had turned in a good, solid, but not spectacular, performance. At least that is my view.
Smith details Mamula's career very well. I'd add in a 1995 nugget: five of his 5.5 sacks came against Jumbo Elliott (3 in two games) and Willie Roaf (2 in one game) showing he was not out of his depth in the NFL as a smaller,
rusher. Also, we've posted his career stats, adding in run/pass stuffs and hurries. As the chart shows, Mamula was especially effective in 1996. In addition to the sacks and stuffs, Mamula, according to the coach's defensive statistics, led the Eagles in hurries in 1996, 1997, and 1999 and was tied for third in that category in 2000. blind-side
PFT's Smith rightly points out that injuries got the better of Mamula and forced an early career, not some kind of lack of talent or lack of production.
As for the combine, yes, it was reported to be
It can be argued successfully that Mamula was over-drafted, that he was not a talent that warranted being taken that high, but it really cannot be argued that he was not a mid-to-late-first round talent. Thus, if not performing like a seventh overall pick constitutes a "bust" in someone's mind, fine, but to call him one of the "Workout warrior All-time busts" is errant in my view. We have others, such as Vernon Gholston (zero career sacks, 2.5 career stuffs), for that.
|2008 Combine results for defensive ends|
Hat tip: Jon Kendle of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for sending needed data.