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Thursday, February 4, 2010
Revisiting decision to bypass Maualuga

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

MIAMI -- While we're talking about the Rams, this might be a good time to revisit one of their 2009 draft decisions.

The team selected Ohio State middle linebacker James Laurinaitis in the second round even though Rey Maualuga remained available. That move looks pretty good now that Maualuga is entering Stage 1 of the league's substance-abuse program, somewhat predictable after off-field incidents at USC shaped perceptions about him.

Laurinaitis provided light in a mostly dark Rams season. Maualuga was the bigger name among inside linebackers, but the Rams felt as though Laurinaitis was the safer pick, in part because Maualuga had those off-field incidents at USC. The rest of the league might have agreed. Maualuga remained available until the Bengals selected him 38th overall, three spots after the Rams selected Laurinaitis.