NFL Forums 2013 NFL Draft NFL Draft NFL Mock Draft Prospect Profiles NFL Free Agents 2014 NFL Mock Draft Links Contact NFL Forums

Clay Matthews LB 6'3 240 USC 4.67

By: Robert Davis

Matthews came to USC as a walk on but eventually earned his scholarship. As a freshman in 2005, he was a little used reserve at linebacker but did play on special teams. A year later, Matthews had 15 tackles, 1.5 for loss, one sack and was named co-special teams player of the year for the Trojans. The depth at linebacker for USC kept him in a reserve role as a junior during the 2007 season, but he again earned special teams player of the year, while tallying 17 tackles, three for loss with two forced fumbles and two blocked field goals. Matthews finally got consistent playing time as a senior, starting at end and being a force off the edge. He was named to the All Pac 10 2nd team after finishing with career highs of 51 tackles, nine for loss, and 4.5 sacks.

Strengths

Matthews was a late bloomer but is not a one year wonder. He has the talent to play on Sundays and carries a lot of upside. He has a very solid package of overall tools. He has good size, is as tough as they come, and has excellent bloodlines. He also has surprising speed and uses that speed to be a force as a pass rusher. Up until this year he was just a special teams standout, but he became a playmaker on defense as a senior. He is relentless off the edge and his talent could make him an ideal fit for a 3-4 defense.

Weaknesses

Matthews is very good at making plays in front of him and near the line of scrimmage, but he needs work dropping back and covering. His aggression can cause him to bite and move forward when he needs to drop deeper, and he is a bit stiff when asked to cover a tight end. He also does not have a ton of experience on defense, due mainly to the depth in the program at his position.

Future

The ride Matthews has been on is amazing. He started as a 200lb walk on linebacker, and emerged as a starter during his senior season. That was only the beginning. Since the end of the season, Matthews has seen his stock rise from potential third rounder to potential first rounder. At both the Senior Bowl and combine, Matthews blew teams away with his blend of skills. He has a classic linebacker frame with impressive closing speed, and is a quick learner. Matthews should thrive as a pass rusher in a 3-4, but projects well in a 4-3 as well. Depending on how early the run on linebackers go, Matthews could hear his name called as high as the early 20's but he shouldn’t last long in the second round if he makes it there.


NFL Draft | 2009 NFL Mock Draft | Profiles | 2009 NFL Free Agents | NFL Forum | Contact
Copyright © 2008 FootballsFuture.com. Do not duplicate or redistribute an any form.
Privacy Policy

FEATURES
  • NFL Mock Draft
  • NFL Free Agents
  • Sleepers
  • Rookie Report
  • Post your mock draft

  • AFC
    Buffalo Bills ForumBUF New York Jets ForumNYJ Miami Dolphins ForumMIA New England Patriots ForumNE
    Baltimore Ravens ForumBAL Cincinnati Bengals ForumCIN Cleveland Browns ForumCLE Pittsburgh Steelers ForumPIT
    HOU IND JAC TEN
    DEN KC OAK SD

    NFC
    Dallas Cowboys ForumDAL New York Giants ForumNYG Philadelpia Eagles ForumPHI Washington Redskins ForumWAS
    Chicago Bears ForumCHI DET GB MIN
    ATL CAR NO TB
    ARZ STL SF SEA