Marte Mapu is a bit of an unknown coming from Sacramento State, but one look at him on the football field is usually all it takes to understand why the New England Patriots selected him in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy recalled a moment standing on the field next to Pittsburgh Steelers longtime coach Mike Tomlin and watching Mapu blow up a running play for negative yards. It was a play that left both men stunned as Mapu smashed through the fullback and drove the runner to the ground with absolute ease.
“And now that the draft is already over, I’ll say I was standing on the field with (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin during one of the 9-on-7 periods, and I’ve posted this clip online, Mapu came down and just buckled this fullback behind the line of scrimmage,” Nagy told the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan, via the Hartford Courant. “And Mike looks at me with wide eyes, and we look at each other like that, holy (expletive) look. And he was like, ‘This boy’s making some money right now.’ So he definitely stood out.”
Mapu is a special player with the ability to fill a serious need for the Patriots as a linebacker with sideline-to-sideline playmaking abilities.
The Patriots using their first three draft picks on defensive players is a clear indication that the team is looking to fortify an already top notch defensive unit in an effort to fend off today’s juggernaut offenses in the NFL.
Joining one of the greatest defensive coaching minds of all time in Bill Belichick can only mean good things for Mapu.
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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire