Berea—The Browns ended up getting a USC linebacker.
It just was not Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing or Clay Matthews, Jr.
They selected the other linebacker with their fourth-round choice (104th overall) Kaluka Maiava. He admitted he was in the shadows of the other three linebackers, who were drafted in the top 37 picks.
“They definitely had the spotlight and that made me compete all the more,” he said. “It helped me to up my game.”
Maiava showed a lot of versatility as he played both inside and outside linebacker positions.
“(The Browns) haven’t gone over the details with me,” he said. “I’m just ready to compete.”
Maiava played in 13 games in 2008 with 66 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss with an interception and five passes broken up.
At 5-11, 232 pounds, some have considered Maiava small for the NFL level, but he disagrees.
“I see a lot of guys playing in the NFL who are considered small,” he said. “I played with the best at USC and I just look forward to showing them how small I am.
“I compete all the time,” he said. “I refuse to lose and have a nose for the ball and make plays.”
Maiava has sports in his bloodlines, as his father, Scott Mahoney, played at Colorado and in the NFL. His grandfather is former pro wrestler Neff Maiava, while his uncle is pro wrestler/actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He also has a brother, Kai, is a junior offensive lineman at UCLA.