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Muma: "One of the best moments I've ever had…"

On No. 70_Pick Article

JACKSONVILLE – Chad Muma wasn't expecting the Jaguars to call Friday.

Muma had followed the 2022 NFL Draft enough to know the Jaguars already had selected a player at his position. So, he figured his career might not start in Jacksonville.

He was wrong – and that was more than OK.

"Getting that call was one of the best moments I've ever had in my life," he said.

Muma, a linebacker from the University of Wyoming, on Friday, became the third linebacker and second inside linebacker selected by the Jaguars in the '22 draft. The Jaguars selected him with the sixth selection of Round 3, the No. 70 selection overall.

"He was highly rated on our board," Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke said. "I don't think you can ever have enough good linebackers."

The Jaguars selected inside linebacker Devin Lloyd from Utah at No. 27 overall.

"Seeing him go off in the first round I was thinking, 'OK, they got their linebacker,' " Muma said. "That's kind of why I wasn't expecting Jacksonville. I didn't think it would be the Jacksonville Jaguars, but when I saw that pop up on my phone, I was ready to go from the moment I saw Jacksonville."

Baalke called Muma a "green-dot" type of player, meaning the ability to wear the device that handles sideline-to-player communication on his helmet and relay play calls to the rest of the defense.

"He can run the defense," Baalke said.

That's a role Muma said he embraces.

"I feel like I've proved myself to be one of those green-dot type of players," he said. "My film kind of showcases what I do best. I'm super excited to finally get the ball rolling."

Muma (6-feet-3, 239 pounds), who played four seasons at Wyoming, had 267 total career tackles – 147 solos. He was a third-team Associated Press All-America selection this past season, and Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said traits stood out about Muma beyond strength such as speed and physicality.

"I had a chance to really kind of visit with this guy and start building a relationship with him – just his character, who he is as a person, how he's going to fit into the room," Pederson said. "Talking to him again tonight, how excited he is … this is a guy that's going to bring great competition in that room, going to give us depth, going to be a good special teams player for us.

"I'm looking forward to getting these guys out here."

Muma registered 19 tackles for loss in his career, including eight each of the past two seasons. He also had three interceptions this past season, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award as a senior and a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2020 and 2021.

He started 21 of 44 career games at Wyoming.

"He's a really good special teams player as well," Baalke said. "There's just a lot to like. A very good value at that point in the draft, a guy that we had high on our board that plays the game that we want to play, plays it physical. He can play on all four downs. Again, when you say we're overloaded at linebacker, you're only one play away from being down a linebacker.

"As we've seen through the years that's a position where, knock on wood, you sometimes lose some guys. We're very confident he's going to come in and be a big part of this program."