Matt Dayes, RB
School: NC State | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 207 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th Round or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Johnathan Grimes
Matt Dayes is NC State’s first 1000 yard rusher since 2002. The talented senior was often overlooked and omitted from the running back conversation with so much talent in the conference including Dalvin Cook, Wayne Gallman, James Connor, and Elijah Hood. But make no mistake Dayes is very talented himself. What will make Dayes a huge value in the later rounds is his versatility. Not only does he play with tremendous burst, vision, and agility but he isn’t bad as a receiver and in pass protection either. Ultimately Dayes doesn’t possess any elite traits thus his mid-round projection but whatever team drafts him is going to have a solid contributor out of the backfield and possibly more.
- Excellent vision, Dayes can find two inches of space two feet behind him, get there and make it a positive gain.
- Good lateral and cutting ability he can consistently get past the first wave before he goes down.
- Finds a hole and hits it with tremendous power and burst.
- Feet are always moving even when waiting for blocks and hole to develop wheels never start churning.
- Solid in pass protection and in receiving.
- Often goes down on first contact. Though “yolked up” his speed to power conversion is not ideal.
- Doesn't possess any elite physical or athletic traits namely elite speed or acceleration.
Let’s see his work:
#Jets meeting with Matt Dayes, RB, NC State. #SeniorBowl— Bryan Perez (@BryanPerez_DB) January 26, 2017
Matt Dayes/RB/North Carolina St has strung together several terrific runs in scrimmage. #seniorbowl #Wolfpack— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 26, 2017
RB Matt Dayes (NC State) stood in pass pro for the South squad today and showe good hands. Very good practice.@seniorbowl— NFL Draft Blitz (@NFLDraftBlitz) January 26, 2017
I like this North Carolina State Tailback Matt Dayes. He plays with power. Showed up all week— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) January 28, 2017
Eagles scouts spoke with the following prospects so far:— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) January 24, 2017
- Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova
- Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
- Matt Dayes, RB, NC State
Matt Dayes, RB, NC State— Shane Alexander (@Alexander1Great) January 24, 2017
Dude is yoked up.
My @seniorbowl draft crush, Matt Dayes, criminally underrated in this RB class. pic.twitter.com/YbxItfQ3ZS— Sean Cottrell (@PhllyDraft) January 6, 2017
Senior Bowl RB Matt Dayes. Also a very solid receiver. pic.twitter.com/TYK8qe3LXJ— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) November 30, 2016
Filthy run by Matt Dayes. Sees the pile, hurdles with ease, but his jump/landing is stupid special. Both with his left leg pic.twitter.com/tIIJj3EizT— Ryan Booher (@bootang25) December 4, 2016
NFL.com's Chad Reuter says Dayes "could be a solid mid-round selection," ESPN's Todd McShay thinks he "could be a Day 3 steal if he lands in the right system," and NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah believes Dayes "should end up being an excellent value pick."
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Matt Dayes is a very talented running back and is a kid I am rooting for on draft night. His talented will allow him to be a solid contributor to an NFL team for a good chunk of years. Dayes has a lot of positive things going for him but ultimately his weaknesses are crippling for his prospects of being a true bell cow for an NFL team. Plenty of running backs have come into the league and improved on their pre-draft weaknesses though so there is always a chance of long term success for him if he worked toward it. I think Dayes fits on the Skins as a third down back option, one that is currently filled by Chris Thompson. Thompson has done quite well in that role so unless the Redskins are willing to spend a mid-round pick on 3rd down RB competition I can’t envision Dayes in the burgundy and Gold at this moment. Unfortunately, it is rumored the Eagles have a great deal of interest in this young man. I’ll be praying for you, Matt.