Originally Posted by DiehardChris
I've seen talk that he's FLYING up the board and might end up in the second. I don't remember if it was LZ or who - but I know it wasn't from one of the "eye-roller" draft sites.
Here is some recent information on Clay Matthews:
A recent posting in their Talent Board:
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.
From CBS Sports, referencing to NFLDraftScout.com:
“Clay Matthews, 6-3, 246, ILB, Southern California
While teammates Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing certainly earned more attention throughout their respective careers, it is the former walk-on Matthews, Jr., who some scouts feel ultimately could be the best of the bunch.” Considering he came to USC as a 166-pound linebacker and tight end with only Idaho offering him a D-I scholarship, his rise to stardom has been remarkable.
A special teams standout early in his career, Matthews didn't emerge as even a starter until three games into his senior campaign. Showing burst off the snap as a hybrid defensive end and surprising fluidity and instincts in coverage, Matthews posted 56 tackles and finished third on the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and second in sacks (4.5).
A strong performance at the Senior Bowl had scouts buzzing about his upside, especially considering his family's gridiron success. Considering he has only started 10 games over his career, there isn't a prospect in the country who can match Matthews' meteoric rise up draft boards this year.
Positives: Ascending player who may be just scratching the surface of his potential. Well-built athlete whose dedication in the weight-room is obvious in his physique. Reliable open-field tackler. Versatile defender who flashes as a natural pass rusher off the edge. Good speed upfield and has the balance and burst to redirect his rush. Good initial hand punch to pop the blocker and disengage. Good effort and speed in pursuit. Instinctive defender who played well in space as a traditional linebacker. Excellent special teams player. Twice named co-special teams player of the year (2005, 2006). Excellent bloodlines. Father, Clay, played 19 seasons at linebacker and made the Pro Bowl four times. Uncle, Bruce, made the Pro Bowl 14 times and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. Grandfather, also named Clay, played for the 49ers in the 1950s. Pac-10 Academic All-American with a 3.06 GPA in international relations.
Negatives: Has less than a full season as a starter and only 10 career starts -- all in 2008. Surrounded by so much talent at USC that holes in his game could have been disguised. Lacks the bulk to remain at defensive end. Prefers to run around blocks rather than take them on. While he improved as the year went on, remains a work in progress in disengaging from blocks. Suffered broken left thumb against Nebraska, then fractured a metacarpal later in season, then had to have surgery after the bowl game as it did not heal properly.”