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PFF scouting report: Damien Mama, G, USC

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Guard Damien Mama #51 of the USC Trojans celebrates with the 2017 Rose Bowl trophy after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions 52-49 to win the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Name: Damien Mama

School: USC

Position fit: Guard

Stats to know: Surrendered only eight pressures (one hit, seven hurries) in 449 pass-protection snaps in 2016.

What he does best:

  • At his best on down blocks pinning and moving defensive linemen on pin-pull plays and on the play-side of gap scheme runs.
  • When he can lock onto a defender at any level his size and power becomes evident taking the defender out of his gap or off his track on zone and gap blocks.
  • Consistent 2016 season in pass protection; rarely faced any speed or explosive rushers and so could set to control most pass rushers he faced with physicality.

Biggest concern:

  • Inconsistent in his two seasons as a starter with a better season as a run-blocker in 2015 than in 2016 and vice-versa in pass protection; which is the player you’re going to get?
  • Lack of testing athleticism is clear to see on tape. Struggles to work laterally on outside zone plays in particular to cutoff defenders on the back-side of plays.
  • Struggles with change of direction leads to difficulties in picking up slants and stunts in both run and pass games.

Bottom line: 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. A strong 2016 season in pass protection shows his ability to play with power and shut down certain types of rushers but a lack of exposure to more speedy and agile rushers may lead to more flaws being exposed at the next level.

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