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View Full Version : Why is a guy like Matthews rated higher than a guy like Tate?


superman
03-05-2010, 02:18 PM
Now to start with, I've never seen Matthews play. So if you can just tell by watching him run, please explain. But I have seen Tate and he's impressive. Matthews had a better SR season, but Tate didn't have a bad one either on a very crappy Auburn team in a very tough SEC conference. And the 2 previous years, both have pretty equal stats (Tate 664, 903 & Matthews 606, 866).

And at the combine, Matthews was impressive himself, but nobody was more impressive than Tate. Bigger, faster, strong, more explosive, better 3 cone.

So why is Matthews seen as a late 1st rounder and Tate mid 2nd?

vidae
03-05-2010, 02:20 PM
There is a lot more to a prospect than their combine workouts.

nepg
03-05-2010, 02:22 PM
The way they translate to an NFL offense... Matthews is ready to play on any down in any situation on an NFL team. He can catch, and he can block...

Babylon
03-05-2010, 02:25 PM
I could probably completely hi-jack this thing and ask why Mathews is rated higher than Gerhart who is bigger and more productive. Tate looks like a solid 2nd rounder at this point so i wouldnt think that is too off the mark.

Boston_george
03-05-2010, 02:26 PM
HotRod35 does a good job describing a few reasons why teams would value Mathews higher than Tate here: http://www.draftcountdown.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39001&page=2

San Diego Chicken
03-05-2010, 02:32 PM
How come you didn't see Matthews play? Fresno was on ESPN a few times... they played in a bowl game... they had a big Friday night game against Boise State where he tore them apart for 200+. I'd think more draft followers would remember that game.

superman
03-05-2010, 02:34 PM
How come you didn't see Matthews play? Fresno was on ESPN a few times... they played in a bowl game... they had a big Friday night game against Boise State where he tore them apart for 200+. I'd think more draft followers would remember that game.

because i didn't watch those

superman
03-05-2010, 02:39 PM
HotRod35 does a good job describing a few reasons why teams would value Mathews higher than Tate here: http://www.draftcountdown.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39001&page=2

interesting. good points.

ElectricEye
03-05-2010, 03:32 PM
The way they translate to an NFL offense... Matthews is ready to play on any down in any situation on an NFL team. He can catch, and he can block...

Tate can do all those things as well, and he's a better receiver than Matthews by a lot.

Matthews tape is really, really good. Speed, power, quickness...it's all there. Love the guy, he's probably the top rated back I have in this class.

BuddyCHRIST
03-05-2010, 03:46 PM
Matthews looks faster and more physical in pads to me, also he comes out of a more traditional offense. I kind of feel like the RB's 2-10ish are kind of interchangeable depending on what you want.

thetedginnshow
03-05-2010, 04:40 PM
Mathews has better vision and did his damage in a more pro style offense. He's a bit more of a physical presence and has a better use of the stiff-arm; Tate looks a little squatty in comparison. Tate plays faster by a bit, his blocking and receiving are far better, he has a lower center of gravity, and I believe he stayed healthier. Mathews has a sort of upright running style too that I think will land him a few injuries.

frubulubu
03-06-2010, 08:53 AM
Matthews has the vision and already knows how to run in a pro style offense. He knows how to hit the holes, and is patient and smart runner. The one thing that does make me suspicious, is that he comes from Fresno, where many of there prospects barely pan out. Gerhart, imo, is the next Brian Leonard.

wonderbredd24
03-06-2010, 08:56 AM
I am a huge Ben Tate fan and have been for awhile and would love to have him in Cleveland, but he doesn't play at a 4.43 40

Matthews plays very fast on the field for a man with his size. 6.6 ypc is impressive... just needs to stay healthy

Supporting Caste
03-06-2010, 12:00 PM
Mathews = Corey Dillon.

BaLLiN
03-06-2010, 01:38 PM
Mathews = Corey Dillon.

Matthews = Ryan Grant

ElectricEye
03-07-2010, 07:11 PM
Matthews = Ryan Grant

Don't think he'll have to grind it out as much as Ryan Grant does.

golota
03-07-2010, 07:56 PM
I could probably completely hi-jack this thing and ask why Mathews is rated higher than Gerhart who is bigger and more productive. Tate looks like a solid 2nd rounder at this point so i wouldnt think that is too off the mark.

You know I agree with your comment about gerhart over Mathews.
Bigger, stronger, better in short yardage, almost as fast, more proven as a pass blocker/receiver and more durable. Played against tougher comp.

RedVision
03-07-2010, 09:11 PM
I'm kinda puzzzled at how Ryan Matthews is a 1st rounder and Ian Johnson was a UDFA, despite similar production in the same conference and similar physical skills.

remember Johnson ran a 4.4 at 216 pounds at the combine last year.

KCDizz
03-07-2010, 09:27 PM
i look at highlights from matthews and he looks like the #1 back and even more impressed at his combine.

Cicero
03-07-2010, 10:10 PM
The thing I love about Matthews is how fast he gets up to speed and how hard he hits the hole. Out of all the backs this year, I think he's the best at identifying the hole quickly, getting up to speed, and smashing through. That being said I still have Tate that far behind Matthews.

frubulubu
03-07-2010, 10:11 PM
i look at highlights from matthews and he looks like the #1 back and even more impressed at his combine.

Matthews is the truth, and if you didnt see him play, you will get enough on sundays.

Halsey
03-08-2010, 05:59 AM
The conference a RB played in in college doesn't tell you that much. RBs from small school may be playing against weaker defenses, but they are running behind weaker o-lines too. You might as well leavew which conference a RB played in out of debates like this. The NFL has successful RBs from all over college, from East Carolina to whichever SEC school you want to TCU to Villanova to Memphis and so on.

HawkeyeFan
03-08-2010, 07:24 AM
Will Ryan Matthews be available in R2?

619
03-08-2010, 07:53 AM
Mathews = Corey Dillon.

Matthews = Ryan Grant

He is not stiff and is much more fluid laterally. He runs bigger than he is, but so did LT for the majority of his career. I like that comparison the best and if scouts around the league - having watched as much tape as they have - are agreeing to it, you'd have to think there's something more to it than the obvious physical measurements.

frubulubu
03-08-2010, 08:17 AM
Will Ryan Matthews be available in R2?

He is projected to be a 1st rounder. Every year you have guys that are supposed to be taken 1st and slip to second. That could happen, since he is projected at the end of the 1st.

HotRod35
03-10-2010, 07:21 PM
I'm kinda puzzzled at how Ryan Matthews is a 1st rounder and Ian Johnson was a UDFA, despite similar production in the same conference and similar physical skills.

remember Johnson ran a 4.4 at 216 pounds at the combine last year.

Red, I am not trying to pick on you, but do you guys ever actually look at stats before you make bold statements about players; particularly when you are directly comparing two guys and saying they are the same?

For starters, Johnson and Mathews didn’t have similar production. In fact, there is very little similarity between the two, especially, in form and pattern.

Mathews, peaked his last (Jr) year, with a breakout season, where he led the nation in yards per game, and was second in total yards, with 1,808 yards. And he came up big against his best competition, as exhibited by the following games this past season:

@ Wisconsin 19 carries; 109 yards; 5.9 YPC;
Boise State: 19 carries; 234 yards; 12.3 YPC;
@ Cincinnati 38 carries; 145 yards; 3.8 YPC;
@ Illinois 32 carries; 173 yards; 5.4 YPC;

Totals: 108 carries; 661 yards; 6.12 YPC

Other than the low YPC against a pretty good “Cincy” team those are outstanding numbers. He averaged 165 yards rushing against BCS schools (well I am throwing in Johnson’s Alma matter Boise State, as they are as good as a majority of BCS schools). And three of these games were on the road.

I am not sure Johnson had 4 games as good his entire career, but I know he didn’t his senior year. In fact Johnson, ran for just 766, on 150 carries (5.1 YPC) his senior year. This equates to just 42% of Mathews’s production his last year. He goes for over 100 yards just one time, ironically against Fresno State, and is held to less than 4 YPC four times.

Indeed, by his last year, the magic surrounding his best season, which culminated in Boise State snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, against Oklahoma, in the Fiesta Bowl, seemed all but gone. Boise State ran the table, finished undefeated, and Johnson rushed for 1,714 yards on 276 attempts (6.2 YPC).

Accordingly, unlike Mathews, by Johnson's senior year he had long peaked; in fact, it marked the second consecutive season that his production dropped. He actually failed to break 1,000 yards, and was being challenged as the best runner on the team.

Boise State, though would go on to win 10 games the next year, and go undefeated during the regular season of Johnson’s last year; they lose just one game by one point in the bowl game. There have to be questions, when Johnson, who seemed to be such an integral part of the BSU offense that magical season, becomes less and less a factor his final two seasons. You have to question his role is shrinking while the team continues having significant success.

The 2006 Fiesta Bowl was arguably the most entertaining David and Goliath story in modern college football. First, under-appreciated, and unloved, Boise State, jumps to a commanding lead over much loved and perennial powerhouse Oklahoma. Everyone is thinking, well maybe those boys from the potato farms can play some football.

Then, late in the 2nd half, Oklahoma comes storming back to tie the game with just 1:14 to play. Momentum has shifted, and Boise has surrendered18 straight points. Lady Luck has left their side of the field without a kiss, and she is about to give them the finger. Despite a tie score, Boise is desperate to make something happen, and attempts a pass with just over one minute to play, in regulation. OU intercepts and takes it to the house for their 25th unanswered point. With the INT they all the momentum, tradition, and swagger, is on their side, and seemingly they have eliminated any chance for a BSU victory.


There is less than a minute to go and the Broncos are, bleeding, back on their heels, and reeling. They seem to have done nothing right since early in the 3rd quarter. The Sooners have scored 25 straight points, with the last two touchdowns coming in the last two minutes of the game. That’s beyond a momentum shift, and everyone is thinking: we’ve seen this play before; these upstarts are like all the rest; they can’t handle the pressure from a big time program on the national stage.

With almost no time left on the clock and facing 4th and 18, from mid field, the Fat Lady is up and clearing her throat. But, Boise State, far from being a pretender, and contrary to the thoughts of all but the most faithful, does not fold like a cheap suit. Instead, they execute the hook and lateral to perfection sending the game into overtime.

Next, after Oklahoma takes the lead in OT, Boise State runs a second trick play, to perfection, and seemingly setting up a second OT, with the perfunctory extra point kick. That’s the conventional wisdom anyway, in OT, you kick until you are forced to go for two, and hope the other guy messes up.

But Boise State didn’t get to that point, to just stand around with their fingers crossed, hoping Big Bad Oklahoma would mess up somehow and give them a chance to win. They spit in the eye of conventional wisdom, and lined up to go for two, the victory, and a little bit of immortality.

With everything on the line, they snap the ball, and this time spit in the eye of tradition by running their third trick play in the final moments of the game. No they don't wilt under the pressure. They execute the Statue of Liberty play, to perfection; they looked the Sooners in the eye, and said, “We came here to win and are going for it; stop us if you can.” OU couldn’t.

Johnson scored the points on the improbable winning play, which will live forever in the lore of Idaho, and in the collective mind of all sports fans who long for the underdog to score the unlikely victory. It wasn’t just that they won; it was way they won. It was the stuff of fairy tales and legend: On their backs, and nearly out of time, they got off the proverbial canvass; punched the bully in the mouth; and scored, when no one gave them a prayer.

Mere moments after scoring the winning points, Johnson, on national TV no less, is kneeling before his college cheerleader, girlfriend, and proposing marriage. She says yes. That, needless to say, a tough act to follow.

Johnson doesn’t, and from a football standpoint it proves to be the high water mark of his career.

For the record, as far as physical skills and “measuables” they are not exactly the same either. Consider the following:


Mathews; Johnson

Height: Mathews-6’; Johnson 5’11”
Weight: Mathews-218 ;Johnson 211
40 Yard Dash: Mathews-4.45 ;Johnson 4.46
Vertical: Mathews-36” ;Johnson 33”
20 yard Shuttle: Mathews-4.33 ;Johnson 4.18
3-Cone: Mathews-? ; Johnson 6.93
Bench Reps Mathews-19 ; Johnson 26

Johnson, and Mathews are about the same in the 40, though Johnson is a fair amount faster in the shuttle. Johnson has a better vertical. Somewhat surprising, is Johnson putting up 26 reps on the bench. I have this from just one source and have not been able to verify it.

Mathews is taller and over all bigger. Keep in mind it was reported that Johnson bulked up a bit for the combine, as he was listed at under 195 his sophomore year which was his high water mark. Also, the general thought seems to be that Mathews, on the other hand dropped a bit of weight for the combine.

Overall though Johnson put up some pretty big numbers at the combine, with one of the more impressive ones being 26 reps on the bench, if my source is correct.

At the end of the day, though, I think the biggest factor working against Johnson was his overall lack of production his Junior and Senior seasons. Mover, while he and Johnson played in the WAC, Mathews played more games against BCS and BCS level competition. His play in those games backed up his production conference play.

For example the only BCS team Johnson played his Sr. year was against Oregon, and it was one of his worst games. Compare the following to Mathews’s BCS games above:

2008 @ Oregon 19 carries; 40 yards; 2.1 YPC;
2007 @ Washington: 20 carries; 81 yards; 4.1 YPC;
2006 Oregon State @ home 22 carries; 240 yards; 10.9 YPC;
2006 Bowl Oklahoma 23 carries; 101 yards; 4.4 YPC; (includes over time rushing yards of 8 yards)

Totals: 84 carries; 462 yards; 5.5 YPC
Totals: 62 carries; 222 yards; 3.6 YPC

As you can see, other than the blowout game against Oregon State, his sophomore season, he didn’t do too much and he played on some really good teams. Interestingly, I remember watching that Oregon State game as it was played on Blue turf, on National TV. I remember thinking this guy is really good.
His longest run in that game was for 59 yards. It was the longest of the year. I was surprised to find that he has very few long runs in 2006, or for his career, for that matter. In fact, he didn’t have one other run for over 35 yards, in 2006.

In 2007 he had runs of 54 and 50 against Weber State and Hawaii, respectively. He had no other runs of more than 25 yards. In 2008, he did better with three runs over 50 yards: 53, 66 and 69 against, Bowling Green, Nevada, and Fresno State, respectively.

So his last three years Johnson had a total of six runs over 40 yards. He is not exactly a power back so I don’t think if can be fairly said that his production in that area is good. By comparison Mathews had 8 in 2009, alone, and he missed one game.

As you can see in just about any production stat, other than career rushing yards, (Johnson, played 4 years Vs 3 for Mathews) Johnson is not close to Mathews. This is especially true their last years, respectively. I think that more than explains your question.