Matt is a Defensive End playing the Defensive Tackle position. He has the athleticism, size, speed and change of direction abilities to rush the passer and does a very good job when defending against the run. He is very smart and shows leadership abilities through his play on the field. Matt understands situational football. His impact position is as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense, but I think he also will impact as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense because of what I saw in his bowl game. He has good balance and understands down and distance. He is very tall, but his athleticism makes him much better out in space than playing in the interior of the line where he can get beat up by the guards and centers. He tends to play too high and doesn't have the strength to be a defensive tackle because of his body type, but he does have the strength, quickness and other attributes to be an excellent player on the outside going up against tackles and tight ends. Matt is a bit of a sleeper in this draft because he was playing out of position and I suspect that he is a better game player than he is a practice player. He is just the type of player who plays quicker and faster in a game. One-on-one is not his strength. He plays within a concept and plays off the players around him. Workouts and the combine will be big for him to prove his athleticism, but to be honest with you, I don't think he is going to change anyone's mind on his talent unless teams turn on the tape and evaluate him that way. Of course I have no problem, I already believe.
Matt is just playing out of position in the wrong style of defense. I was surprised to see how well he got to the QB in his bowl game playing DE in a true 4-3 up against right tackles. I'm not sure he is a double digit sack type of player, but he will put pressure on the QB and get you 7 to 8 sacks a year and cause all sorts of problems for an offensive coordinator and QB. That I'm sure of.
Matt has impact talent. I saw this kid cover 12 yards in 4 strides and drop a RB from behind. Screen passes to his side will not be successful because he sniffs them out very quickly and can cover so much ground. He is very athletic and his size, football intelligence along with that overall athletic talent, gives him the ability to become an impact player for the team that drafts him. He does a good job using his hands to hold up blocks, shed them and make tackles. Like I said, Matt is a sleeper in this draft. He did not get invited to the Senior Bowl; I suspect that is because everyone thinks of him only as a 3-4 defensive end, but I think he has more athletic talent than that. Unless Matt has some outstanding times at the combine and his workouts blow scouts away, I suspect Matt will not be drafted as high as I have rated him. Matt is the type of talent good teams will find late in the draft. I suspect some 3-4 defensive teams know about this kid and are not talking about him hoping he gets to them in a later round where they can pick him up and develop him. The problem with that is, I don't think Matt needs as much developing as others are thinking, but that's just me. I can't give Matt a first round grade because I profile for 32 teams and believe first rounders should have the ability to impact in any style of offense or defense. Matt is an impact player for one style of defense, but you can tell by this profile that I think this kid has a real future at the next level to be a core player and a fan favorite for sure. Matt is the reason THR has the two-board system. The two-board system shows you that talent is all over the draft and in any round. You just have to look. Matt (The Wrath of Khan) Conrath. He is a sleeper.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Feb /12