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Washington Redskins 2016 Draft Profiles: Mitch Mathews, WR

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2016 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Mathews, WR
School: BYU | Conference: Independent 
College Experience: Senior | Age: 24? 25?
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 222 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 7th Round or UDFA but rising
NFL Comparison: Kris Durham

College Statistics

Player Overview

By now most who read my profiles should know I have an affinity for late round guys that present value and could make an impact. But you may be curious why I chose a relatively obscure WR from Brigham Young. Aside from Mitch Mathews ridiculous size and ability to high point the ball he is a super intriguing prospect because Scot McCloughan and John Schnieder drafted an almost identical player in Kris Durham in 2011 with the Seattle Seahawks' 4th round selection. Durham had 600+ receiving yards and 3 TDs his senior year and Matthews has eclipsed that production in his last two years. It would be super interesting to know McCloughan's thoughts on that selection seeing as Kris Durham has played for 3 different teams now in a draft that saw K.J. Wright and Richard Sherman drafted a round earlier and a round later respectively. Was Durham a miss? Would McCloughan draft a similar player again?

I'm not sure why Mitch Mathews isn't in the draft conversation much he has the size and production that usually warrants a 5th or 6th rounder. Mathews is a tall, lanky, receiver that plays with great speed and is a natural hands catcher. He can pluck the ball out of the air with excellent jumping ability and use his body to create space. He is really fun to watch when he takes the ball away from defenders. And he may be one of those astronomical risers on draft boards after his pro day.

Strengths

  • Excellent size and play speed for his size. Great jumping ability too.
  • Has a great catch radius he is able to position himself and contort his body to make tough catches.
  • Tracks the ball in flight well.
  • Posted two years of solid production with inconsistent and revolving door QB play.
  • Good route runner, able to get out of his breaks with precision and speed, shook a few guys on tape.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn't always play to his size, his height is his greatest asset and sometimes he lets corner's bump him off routes.
  • Lanky skinny build for a WR would be good if he were to add a bit of mass (which it seems like he has he was listed at 215 during the season).
  • Older than typical draft prospects.



Let's see his work: 


How He Would Fit on the Redskins

Mathews would certainly be an intriguing late round option or even UDFA signing. He is a little older than the average college senior (as are most BYU guys) because he did his 2 year LDS mission. Matthews seems to be training hard for his pro day saying he has bulked up to 222. I compared him to Kris Durham but he also reminds me of Jordan Taylor the WR out of Rice that was signed as an UDFA by the Denver Broncos last year. These types guys aren't super freak athletes (though Mathews may be close) but they have a consistent level of production using their size and hands. They perhaps will never turn into the every down WR in the NFL like they were in college but they do have a specific use and place in the NFL. I think the more the Redskins can diversify their red zone threats outside of Jordan Reed the better the team will become in the red zone. Mathews has a lot to learn still outside of his physical gifts but with some coaching and a few opportunities he could prove himself to be a legitimate red zone and deep threat.

As I update this profile with Mathews' pro day numbers I'm full of giddy excitement. He is killing it in every category at his pro day. But with that comes optimism and caution. When was the last time BYU had a decent/relevant QB throwing the ball? Even with his kind of athletic talent why wasn't Mathews able to produce more? He's a freak. And why is he rated so low on big boards? Let me know your thoughts!