Exhibits a decent pad level off the snap initially, but too quickly allows himself to get upright into contact vs. the run game. Can easily be pushed past the play and struggles to consistently use his length to stack and shed. Does a nice job shooting through gaps inside and crashing down the line initially off the football, but isn't a real effective stack and shed guy at this stage.
Exhibits a good, not great, first step as a pass rusher, but really uncoils quickly out of his stance and paired with his length gets into opposing tackles quickly. Isn't a guy who can consistently turn the corner, but does a nice job setting up his outside rush by changing gears, dropping his shoulder and accelerating around the edge.
Works hard and has the type of body control to remain balanced when flattening out around the corner once he gains a step. However, it's his suddenness and change of direction skills that really make him tough to block. Possesses a violent set of hands and works a clean arm over back inside, cleanly exploding off his outside foot and gaining a step inside toward the QB.
Now, has a tendency to get upright off his counter inside and lacks the kind of strength to quickly fight his way off blocks and can be engulfed at times. Also, isn't a real effective bull rusher at this stage, struggles to generate consistent leverage and drive his way into the backfield.
Nevertheless, he sees a lot of double teams on the edge and, for the most part, has the type of motor to continue to work his way through contact and fight his way toward the QB.
Impression: Possesses a good-looking frame, but I would like to see him play with a little more leverage through contact. Possesses a good first step for his size, can cleanly change directions and but fails to routinely slip and disengage from blocks."
Matthews is a versatile defender.
Matthews was the #6 defensive end according to prospects rankings. He was a five star recruit, and he would end up coming onto the South Carolina program to start immediately, playing outside linebacker as a freshman, and switching to defensive end for his last three seasons.
Matthews’ athleticism is remarkable, and he’s a very quick edge pass rusher who demonstrates exceptional speed up field and crashes down on the line with force. He moves well laterally and he takes good angles at the football. Matthews’ athleticism allows him to have quick hips and makes him great when needing to drop in coverage. He has good awareness and above average instincts. He has all of the intangibles, with a high football IQ, and he’s also quite the team leader.
Matthews relies too heavily on his pure athleticism to get by defenders and needs to work on being stronger at the point of attack. He allows himself to be bullied by stronger offensive tackles that have a good initial punch. He needs to do a better job of driving his feet when bull rushing, and staying low, getting leverage. Often times he stands straight up and gets handled with ease. For a guy his size, he should be more physical and aggressive.
When you look at it, you get an amazing physical specimen who has a lot of room to improve with the right coaching. I think Matthews is an excellent pickup between picks 70 and 90. Look for New England, Kansas City, San Diego, and San Francisco to take a look at Matthews in that mid-late 3rd round range.
NFL Comparison: Paul Kruger "
Positive: Undersized yet athletic pass rusher who can be used at outside linebacker or in a three-point stance. Plays with consistent knee bend, gets leverage on opponents, and works his hands throughout the action. Displays terrific movement skills, rarely gets knocked off his feet, and slides off blocks to makes plays on the ball carrier. Shows a burst of speed, makes plays down the line of scrimmage, and easily changes direction or alters his angle of attack.
Negative: Lacks bulk and can be easily knocked from his angle of attack by a single blocker. Does not display great speed in pursuit.
Analysis: Mathews was a terrific college defender yet possesses just average size/speed numbers for the next level. He offers potential in a conventional four-man line or standing up over tackle in a 3-4 alignment but is likely to be nothing more than backup in the NFL."
Negatives: Does not get off blocks very well... Not real strong at POA... Gets a little too aggressive and will overrun plays... Gets too upright versus the run... Can be walked away from the action... Would need to add bulk to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme... More of an athlete than football player... A bit of a boom or bust prospect... Appears to lack passion... Looked faster and more explosive during his junior season."
Weaknesses: Raw athlete. Seems to be unsure of himself as a rusher. Lacks football intelligence. Needs lots of refinement as a pass rusher. Not a sure tackler. Can chase, but doesn't always seem to really want to. Average motor and dedication. Below average pass drops. Slow off the snap and is not instinctual. Seems not to know what move to employ when/how in order to disengage from the blocker when rushing the passer.
Projection: 4-5th rounder who could climb in post-season workouts as he strikes me as a better athlete than football player at this stage of his development.
A captain, Matthews was well-respected as one of the hardest-working Gamecocks. He also has plenty of natural talent as well. Matthews has good size at 6'4'' and 268 pounds and has been clocked as fast as 4.68 in the 40-yard dash. He is a solid tackler and is as fundamentally-sound as they come. Matthews has a minor shoulder injury history and he was absent from the recent East-West Shrine game.
While he played defensive end at South Carolina, Matthews could move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme at the next level. Look for him to come off the board sometime around the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft--although he definitely has the potential to improve his stock at the combine."
Could be a 4.3 Defensive End, but has great potential as a 3.4 Flanker!!
As always, the preceding thoughts were regurgitated, derivative tripe, adding no value whatsoever, while in fact obliterating intelligent thought and offending the spirit of all decent men. You are now stupider for having read it, and are encouraged, in the strongest possible language, never to expose your eyes to this Site again.