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Marte Mapu Scouting Report | Sacramento State OLB/NB | 2023 NFL Draft

Player Bio

Marte Mapu is a 6-foot-3, 215 OLB/NB prospect from Sacramento State University.

Originally from Hawthorne, CA, Mapu prepped at Hawthorne High School, where he stared at Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Outside Linebacker, and Defensive Back for the Cougars from 2014-2017.

As an unranked ATH prospect in the Class of 2017, Mapu signed his letter of intent with Sacramento State University on National Signing Day. 

Mapu redshirted his first year at Sacramento State to maintain an extra year of eligibility. During the 2017 season, Mapu earned valuable reps on the Hornets’ defensive scout team and added 15 pounds to his 190-pound frame.

Going into the 2018 season an inch taller and 15 pounds heavier, Mapu broke his way into the Hornets’ defensive rotation. He played in five games at outside linebacker and on special teams before missing five games due to injury during conference play. Mapu collected six total tackles in his first season of action at the Division I level.

Mapu became a mainstay on the Sacramento State defense during the 2019 season, appearing in all 11 games and starting two contests at strong safety against Idaho and Northern Arizona. Mapu recorded 18 tackles, one tackle for loss, and an interception as a redshirt sophomore and set himself up for a breakout season in 2020.

Unfortunately for Mapu, Sacramento State was forced to cancel its 2020 season due to the Coronavirus pandemic, keeping him off the field for an entire year.

Mapu returned to Sacramento State for the 2021 campaign and established himself as one of the best overall defensive players in the Big Sky. Starting all 12 games at Nickel, Mapu totaled 65 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and ten pass breakups. He finished the season ranked second on the team in total tackles and tied the team lead for interceptions. After the season, Mapu received Second Team All-Big Sky honors for the first time.

In his sixth and final year at Sacramento State, Mapu entered the 2022 season as one of the best-returning players in the entire FCS. Mapu received Preseason All-American honors from HERO Sports and Phil Steele – providing Mapu with some exposure before the season.

Mapu backed up the preseason hype by leading Sacramento State to a 12-1 record and becoming the 2022 Big Sky Defensive Player. Starting in all 13 games, Mapu posted 76 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and four pass breakups. He earned AP First Team All-American honors, First Team All-Big Sky honors, and All-Big Sky Academic honors while becoming the second Hornet in program history to win Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year.

Overall, Mapu accumulated 165 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, one sack, seven interceptions, one forced fumble, and 22 pass breakups in four seasons of action at Sacramento State.

Since the end of the 2022 season, Mapu played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and scheduled pre-draft meetings with the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Scouting Report

Marte Mapu is a versatile hybrid safety with excellent physical measurements, position versatility, DB instincts, and tackling ability.

Mapu is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and boasts an 80-inch wingspan, making him some of the taller and longer defensive back prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft class. He possesses a slender, athletic build with growth potential to add 15-20 pounds of mass if necessary.

Mapu has the coverage ability of a corner, the toughness of a linebacker, and the instincts of a safety. His unique skillset enables him to line up at multiple positions across an NFL defense. During his time at Sacramento State, Mapu spent the majority of the time at Nickel but saw frequent playing time as a 4-2-5 WILL Linebacker and Strong Safety. Mapu’s best positional fit at the next level is the Big Nickel or Box Safety spot, as he doesn’t have the frame to see consistent playing time at Outside Linebacker or the range and top-end speed to operate as a deep safety.

Mapu combines his terrific length and proficient zone & man coverage ability with high-level awareness and DB instincts. Mapu has strong eye discipline and sudden burst-to-close ability, which allows him to break on passes at any level of the defense. He is a bright player who understands the importance of proper alignment, consistency, and playing within the system. Mapu trusts his coverage ability and carries himself with loads of confidence, which is as important as anything for a defensive back.

Mapu is at his best when he plays closer to the line of scrimmage. When lined up at Nickel, Mapu excels in press coverage, where he can use his length to establish a leverage advantage in man coverage or play hook/curl-to-flat coverage in zone. Being a former Wide Receiver during his high school days, Mapu has winnable ball skills and is a threat to create turnovers when he breaks on the ball.

Playing closer to the line of scrimmage would also allow Mapu to play a more prominent role against the run. With high overall toughness, Mapu is as natural of a tackler as you will find in the slot. He possesses high-contact courage and squares up ball carriers before taking them to the ground. However, given that Mapu lacks great straight-line speed, he can take some poor angles when he fails to beat ball carriers to the edge, which naturally leads to missed arm tackles in one-on-one situations.

Mapu possesses a unique skill set that many NFL defenses could benefit from. His blend of position versatility, size, length, physicality, and coverage ability is rare to find, which should make him a coveted prospect in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft.

Mapu should compete for playing time at the Nickel spot early in his career. Even if he does not start immediately out of training camp, he will surely make an impact on defense in situational matchups and special teams.

Draft Projection

Mid 4th-Mid 5th

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