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Exclusive Draft Profile: Clay Matthews

November 22, 2008
Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews


Name: Clay Matthews

Position: Outside Linebacker

School: University of Southern Cal.

Height & Weight: 6-3 / 240

Class: Senior

What I Think: Clay Matthews is a great player who has had his stock rise high enough that he could potentially be a first to second round pick. While he may have been overshadowed by other USC Linebackers the past two years like Brian Cushing, Keith Rivers,and Rey Maualuga he has made a name for himself and he might be one of three USC Linebackers to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Matthews is always active and has a non-stop motor. He has great strength. He is a fantastic pass rusher and blitzer who could play a Demarcus Ware like role in a Defense. Matthews has a great intensity and is very competitive. He is also tough and extremely versatile. He has good range and can fly across the field. Matthews has great instincts and does a solid job in pursuit. He is also a great special teamer and could contribute to his team immediately. Matthews seems to also have a knack for making big plays. He is also smart and has great knowledge of the game. There may be no one in the NFL with his work ethic. Matthews brings good upside too and has a great Football Bloodline. His father who is also named Clay was a All American at USC, his uncle Bruce Matthews is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame and his brother Kyle was a starting Safety on USC’s National Championship team. His other brother is a player at Oregon and his grandfather Clay was a star swimmer, football player, and boxer in college. Surprisingly with all of his family he still isn’t a great natural athlete. Clay is sort of a tweener who may never find a true position in the NFL. He also only has average size and speed and does not have fluid hips in coverage. He will struggle a lot in coverage. His best fit as an every down Linebacker would probably be on the Weak Side but I could also see him as a 3rd down back. He might be great in a 4-3 but I like him a bit more in a 3-4. 

Draft Grade: C+

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