Atlanta Falcons: 3 players who need to impress before season opener

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Dec 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Nate Stupar (52), defensive end Stansly Maponga (90), inside linebacker Joplo Bartu (59), and inside linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) prepare to be introduced before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Georgia Dome. The Steelers won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

OLB Stansly Maponga

Stansly Maponga has been kind of a mystery to us for some time now. There has been times where he looks like a promising pass rusher. But then there’s times where he gets washed away in playing time, not that it’s entirely his fault.

So what type of player is Maponga? Well we know he can get after the quarterback when given the chance, which he proved with a sack versus the Titans in the preseason opener. He isn’t a full time starter but he also isn’t a primary backup guy.

Where does he fits in Quinn’s scheme? He isn’t as physically gifted as Quinn like his pass-rushers at 6’1 255lbs but he is exceptionally quick.

Maponga could line up as a 7-tech or LEO linebacker. The only thing that’s really against him is the depth of players around him. Vic Beasley, Kroy Beirmann, and O’Brian Schofield could all demand playing time at the LEO linebacker position.

Maponga would have to seriously prove himself by having a stellar preseason performance and show that he belongs and play in any scheme. Quinn and defensive line coach Bryan Cox love rotating players to get after the quarterbacks so there is shot he could be on the rotation.

Prediction: Makes the team as rotational player

Next: Time for a rookie to step up