- BProjectionRound 4
- YearRedshirt Senior
- Hand10 ¼
- Arm31 ½
Strong Points: Very productive. Exceptional initial quickness and first step. Uses his hands very well. Good athlete with speed, quickness and a burst. Smooth, fluid change of direction and very good balance. Plays with strength and explosion. High motor. Very good pursuit player. Excellent pass rusher from inside or out. Instinctive.
Weak Points: Size for defensive lineman; can he play linebacker? Won't get much bigger than 260-265 pounds. No experience dropping into coverage.
The Way We See It: Mata'afa is a fourth-year junior who had a very productive career at Washington State with 121 total tackles, 46 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks in three seasons. Mata'afa played mostly inside but will line up outside on occasion. He lacks size to be an inside player but makes up for it with his exceptional quickness, good hand use and top competitive nature. Wins with his quickness off the ball and hand use. He might be small, but he is strong and handles bigger opponents well. At the college level, he was a consistent producer vs. both the run and pass. In the NFL, Mata'afa will either have to be strictly a short EDGE player or convert to inside linebacker. Eagles 2010 first-rounder (13th overall) Brandon Graham was about the same size coming out of college. Workouts will be important, and some teams will pass because he lacks height. I see a potential starter if he gets drafted by the right team