Sep 1, 2008; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs running back Ryan Mathews

Looking Back At Ryan Mathews Scouting Report on Draft Day

A few days ago, we looked back at the scouting report of Larry English going into draft day and noticed that there were worries about his injuries that we seemed to ignore. Now let’s look into the scouting report of Ryan Mathews and see if they were correct in their assessments.

Here is the strengths/weaknesses provided by Walter Football:

Strong frame with great bulk
Patient runner – lets blocks develop
Runs with amazing balance and low center of gravity
Physical blocker
Doesn’t dance in backfield – hits hole with authority
Good straight line speed when given room
Great vision – sees open lanes
Smart and knows how to read linebackers
Punishing stiff arm
Extremely productive
Can handle 20-plus carries per game

Strictly a two-down back
Hands of stone – very inconsistent catching the ball
Misses blocking assignments
Not nearly as athletic in games as measureables suggest
Doesn’t break many tackles
Lacks elusiveness to make defenders miss in open field
Had an extremely good offensive line against inferior competition
Durability concerns

What do you think about those weaknesses?

Strictly a two-down back? Sounds pretty accurate. We had to use Darren Sproles in his rookie year on 3rd down and Mike Tolbert last year.

Hands of stone? I think he has gotten better at catching the football, but there is still room for improvement.

Misses blocking assignments? Getting better, but still has work to do.

Doesn’t break tackles, lacks elusiveness? There were a couple of long runs last year in which he got into the open field and he should have scored. He breaks off big runs, but we need him to finish them with 7 points!

Durability concerns? Do we really expect Mathews to get through a season without getting nicked up and missing some games? This looks like it will be a lingering issue.

Seems like this scouting report stayed pretty true on the strengths and the weaknesses side. They did fail to tell us one minor detail…

Matthews can’t keep a cobra clutch on that football! He fumbles it left and right! The turnovers are killing us and he needs to fix that issue first.

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