Defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin was selected in the third round by the New York Jets back in 2015. But after three up and down seasons, it seems the former Louisville standout could be fighting to keep his spot on the roster.
I’ve touched on the fact that summer across the world of sports is all about comprising lists. The more creative you write, and the more hot takes you spit, the better for the consuming audience. One of the best outlets for lists of all kinds, is Bleacher Report, a fine partner of FanSided.
When doing my typical morning browse through the interweb, I came across a list that I found very intriguing. After reading through this list, decided that maybe, just maybe, the fine readers of Big Red Louie may want to know about a former beloved Cardinal who made the “Hottest Hot Seat for Every NFL Team in 2018.”
As you can probably tell by the title, this isn’t a great list to be on, at least for most people. At it’s core, this is a list made of individuals from each of the 32 NFL teams who are extremely close to losing their jobs. That could be players, coaches, or even members of the front office.
For the New York Jets, a team that hasn’t played well in years, they’ve listed former Cardinal Lorenzo Mauldin.
As I mentioned before, Mauldin was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft, after an extremely impressive career for the Cards. During his three year career, the defensive end finished with an impressive 127 tackles, and 21 sacks. Mauldin was a huge piece of the 2013 team that went on to defeat Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
Since getting to the NFL, Mauldin has played more of a “reserve” role for the New York Jets, but has been looked at as a guy who could be developed into a future starting rush linebacker/defensive end.
More from Louisville Cardinals alumni
- Louisville football: Mekhi Becton ‘the most excited he’s ever been’
- Louisville basketball alumni: Edgar Sosa leads AI Naft to League Championship
- Louisville baseball alumni: Will Smith and Bobby Miller play pitch and catch in the big leagues
- Louisville football alum YaYa Diaby is “a load to handle,” good things to come for the Bucs
- Lamar Jackson Becomes Highest-Paid Player in NFL History
In his first season in the league, Mauldin showed flashes of greatness, playing in 15 games (starting one) and totaling four sacks, which was good enough for fourth on the entire team.
Coming off that performance, many expected Mauldin to take a huge step forward in his second season, especially under Todd Bowles who was known for his great defenses. Unfortunately for Mauldin, injuries began to plague him as he only was available to play in 11 games, finishing the season with just 2.5 sacks.
Last year, once again Mauldin was considered to be a guy who could breakout for the Jets, but a lingering back injury that led to surgery, ended his season.
Now in his fourth NFL season Mauldin is considered to be guy who could become a “cap causality” during the Jets 2018 training camp.
Here’s what Bleacher Report had to say:
The New York Jets need a pass-rusher to bring heat off the edge. For one linebacker, it’s about supplying pressure or succumbing to it.
Lorenzo Mauldin recently spoke with urgency about his standing with the team, per NJ.com’s Darryl Slater. “I’m definitely trying to fight for my roster spot. I’m overwhelmed, actually, because now it’s like: It’s now or nothing.”
The 25-year-old isn’t hiding from the fact that his Jets career could end if he’s not turning heads this summer. But it’s still jarring that a 2015 third-round pick could lose his roster spot before Week 1.
Mauldin logged 6.5 sacks between the 2015-16 seasons. He missed 2017 with a back injury, which required surgery. Due to the need for pocket pressure off the edge, there’s a brighter spotlight on the Louisville product. He’ll compete with David Bass, who logged 3.5 sacks in 2017, and Josh Martin, who made nine starts at the position last year. Mauldin’s starting role—and his roster spot—will hang in the balance in August.
Mauldin became one of the more beloved Cardinals during his time at Louisville, and fans would be devastated to see a player with so much potential, encounter trouble in the NFL.
I believe the Jets would be making a huge mistake. This is a player who always leaves everything he has out on the field, playing with an unbelievably relentless motor. He has great athleticism, and great instinct for getting after the quarterback, which could be seen in glimpses during his first two seasons. While getting a fresh start may help the fourth year pro, playing for a defensive guru like Todd Bowles, is the best opportunity for Mauldin.
This will be interesting to watch over the coming weeks, as the Jets kick off training camp on July 28th. Not only will Louisville fans want to pay attention to the progress of Mauldin, but two other Cardinals will be competing for starting jobs and roster spots, in QB Teddy Bridgewater, and running back Bilal Powell.