Drew Boylhart 1/09
Clay Matthews LB USC
Clay is a quality pass rushing LB with excellent potential to develop into a complete LB for any style of defense. He has good size as well as great quickness and burst. He also has many different pass rush moves and very mature pass rush techniques. Clay is a smart LB who shows leadership skills through his play on the field. He has the size, burst and quickness to be an impact special teams player and pass rusher at the next level. Clay is one of my sleeper players in this draft, but something tells me that it will not be long before I will have to take the sleeper tag off this kid!
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
If Clay can prove that he has good change of direction skills and some coverage ability at the upcoming Senior Bowl and combine, then Clay could move up into the first round of this draft. Right now, on film, it is hard for me to see these two skills because of the way Clay was used in the defense for his college team. But something tells me he has them!
TALENT BOARD ROUND 1
Clay reminds me of Matt Roth, a DE/LB drafted in the 2005 draft in the 2nd round by the Miami Dolphins; however, I feel that Clay has more athleticism than Matt. Clay is a hell of a special teams player and that alone, with his pass rushing talents, is enough for me to look really hard at him in the latter part of the first round. If I use a defense like the New England Patriots, Clay is high on my list because he fits that type of system right now. As far as being a 4-3 LB, we will just have to see how well he does at the combine and Senior Bowl. He looks like he has the athleticism to play in any defensive system and might have the talent to play more than one LB position. His LTI is very short because of his mature techniques when rushing the passer. When Clay comes on the field in pass rushing situations, he is going to have to be accounted for. When it's all said and done, Clay might wind up having the longest and the best career out of all the LB's coming out from USC in this draft. Clay is a quality kid with a ton of talent that I believe has not yet been tapped into and if I was a playoff team in the 1st round, Clay is exactly the type of player I would like to add to my defense.