The Wedge Scouting Report: LB Tyler Matakevich

I am Wedge.  I am an Intergalactic Agent.  My job – to find an entertaining way to destroy the Earth for my employer the Alpha Alien.

Let me make this clear to you humans.  I love destroying planets.  The screams, the end of lifeforms and the little flicker of light when a planet is wiped from the universe.

But I also love football.  Especially the NFL Draft.  Do you know what that means?


It means…the Earth will live!


The Earth will live!!



Well at least through the NFL Draft…then I might destroy your planet…

Speaking about destruction, Let’s start with a guy who destroys opposing offenses

Tyler Matakevich

Say it again and learn to spell it MATAKEVICH

Next Year when you see his jersey flying around the field making tackles you are gonna wonder how to say it.  That’s what he does a lot of TACKLING!

photo 2

400 career tackles is impressive isn’t it?  Well how about 493 – because that is how many he ended up with in his 4 year career.  This year along Matakevich had 138 tackles, 15.5 for tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and 5 interceptions.

Those kind of stats helped Matakevich win the 2015 Chuck Bednarik Award.  Not easy for a small school linebacker to win that award.  Not easy for s small school linebacker to win the Bronko Nagurski award either, awarded to the nation’s top defender – but Matakevich won that too.

photo 3

I know what you are thinking…what is this alien showing me this small school guy for? I want big school guys, not this guy from Temple.

Well I could not resist.  This guy can play.  And don’t be so hard on Temple they managed to squeeze Penn State, Houston and Notre Dame on to their schedule.

My alien instincts tell me that he will do well at the next level even though its a huge jump in the level of competition.  Speaking of instincts – guess who has great instincts…Tyler Matakevich, that is who!  How else do you get close to 500 tackles in your college career.

photo 1

The linebacker uses those instincts and terrific first step quickness to take ball carriers down.  Matakevich doesn’t just have great instincts and quick first step, he was the unquestionable leader of the Temple Owl defense.  Temple coaches and players only have positive things to say about him on and off the field.

When you hear those kind of things said about a player – you know what they are going to say is his downside…”he has physical limitations”.

You can expect to hear that about this prospect.  Matakevich is not lightning fast, he will probably go unnoticed at the combine – but when you watch him on the field, you know he always knows were to be to make the play.

photo 4

That’s probably why some scouts aren’t predicting Matakevich to go until day 3 of the draft.  If I had to predict where Matakevich falls in the 2016 draft – I would probably say he is a 4th rounder.  But when push comes to shove, if he can continue to use his football smarts to get past his physical limitations – he’s gonna play like a first rounder.  This is the kind of player that leaves GM’s thinking “How did I miss this guy?”

If I was going to compare Matakevich to an alien weapon of destruction he would definitely be a Scarlet Meteor.  The Scarlet Meteor is easy to miss…you will be flying your ship around the universe dodging fusion explosions and laser blasts and next thing you know


Matakavich Comet

Watch this meteor here!

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152 Responses to The Wedge Scouting Report: LB Tyler Matakevich

  1. Rockphin says:

    Nice good work Wedge. Thank you again for not destroying me today. If you can hold off until after next week that would be great too. You see I am going on vacation next week for the first time in years in my vacation happens to be here on earth.

  2. Tim Knight says:

    Good stuff, Piggy. He seems like a Zach Thomas type who will have to overachieve to be successful at the next level as he lacks size and speed but he can play the game.

  3. Mike E. says:

    Good report Wedge – I thought of Zach Thomas as well, being he came from Texas Tech, which isn’t a huge program either.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      I think when Zach went there they were not in the big 12
      I could be wrong
      but I think they became a big 12 team petty recently
      and I think of the big 12 as a power conference
      So I think of texas tech now (like TCU) as a major program
      not like OSU or Bama or something like that
      but a high level of competition
      They play Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma and TCU (I think)

      whereas Temple has to go outside their conference to schedule schools like Penn state and Notre Dame

  4. Mike E. says:

    With all the “expected” to hire Clyde Christensen news, anyone know if we actually did hire him?

  5. The Flying Pig says:

    Wedges first 3 scouting reports are LBs

  6. Mike E. says:


    Texas Tech is now in the Big 12, but I don’t think they were a big football program back in the early 90’s. I could be wrong though, I don’t know college ball well at all.

  7. Tim Knight says:

    Mike E, the entire coaching hires have been kind of open ended. The official site is all screwed up with updating it. Coaches who are confirmed gone are still listed.

  8. BoulderPhinfan says:

    back in the day it was big 8 and texas tech wasn’t a part of it. texas tech was part of the south west conference at the time. Then texas tech, texas a & m, baylor and texas joined big 8.

  9. Al in MIA says:

    Blast from the past MikeE & Boulder:

    Check out the SWAC standings on the right

  10. Tim Knight says:

    Piggy, I meant a name like Samurai for WRs?

  11. Al in MIA says:

    Alex Marvez ‏@alexmarvez 10m10 minutes ago

    Source tells @NFLonFOX that @MiamiDolphins are hiring Jim Washburn as senior defensive assistant working with d-line. Ties w/ @NdamukongSuh


    Alex Marvez ‏@alexmarvez 9m9 minutes ago

    Source tells @NFLonFOX that @MiamiDolphins were denied permission by @Lions to interview defensive line coach Kris Kocurek for same position

  12. Tim Knight says:

    Over the last 14 years, Brady, Peyton and Big Ben have represented the AFC in the SB with only Flacco and Gannon as the other two one time each.

  13. Ken says:

    Nice job Wedge

  14. sb7mvp says:

    Go Cardinals

  15. wyoming85 says:

    Here’s one Piggy!

    • Tim Knight says:

      Not actually that good of a play, it’s gonna be 3rd and 2 or 3.

    • Al in MIA says:

      It’s a good highlight of his speed. That is Shazier like right there…any other OLB would be no where near the RB. Jack started on a blitz of some sort from the outside and still came back inside and cut off the RB who had a gaping hole.

      • Tim Knight says:

        Eh, I don’t see it as that impressive, nobody blocked him so he chased the ball. I’m sure there are clips more impressive than that. 😉

    • Al in MIA says:

      Never mind Miles Jack is the guy lined up as LEFT middle LB in that nickle formation.
      Matt Miller is trying to point out how he basically pops OL #71 backwards on the play as a highlight of Jack’s strength.

  16. wyoming85 says:

    Armando Salguero ‏@ArmandoSalguero 16m16 minutes ago
    Jeremiah Washburn, close to signing a Miami contract to be OL coach, actually didn’t make it to bye week in Det. Fired week before. #facts

  17. wyoming85 says: ‏@DraftScout 6m6 minutes ago
    #ShrineGame: Navy football’s Keenan Reynolds looks natural at RB. @dpbrugler @Shrine_Game #NFLDraft #2016NFLDraft

    • Al in MIA says:

      I’m not a big fan of convert projects usually but Reynolds has intrigued me this year.
      He seems like such a Belichick type player that it scares me to see him in a NE uniform.

      • wyoming85 says:

        The rest of the article talks about some other prospects from Day 2 practice!

      • Tim Knight says:

        Yeah he’ll become a scatback/slot WR who just keeps the chains moving. LOL

        Ya know there’s nothing stopping us from finding that type of player. Grier does have a NE background. 🙂

  18. D says:

    This guy is one of the biggest enigmas of the draft. I have seen people either rating him low 1st round, and some all the way to the 5th. Rarely do you see such a difference in people draft estimations. What i have seen so far seems pretty solid.

    Run defense: Seems to sniff out the play pre-snap, and generally is in a good position to make plays. Shows really good lateral pursuit skills, maintains a shallow depth while coming down the line from backside of the play and has really good instincts for the cutback lane the RB will choose, and closes that lane quickly and aggressively to limit the yards gained. He seems to be a very sure tacklers, only a couple of instances in 4 games films i have watched so far., has had people slip through his tackle and most of those it was because he had no way to get his arms around them (hand tackle). He’s [pretty aggressive, but its controlled, he doesn’t blow by guys because he was being too aggressive like Wheeler did. He also seems to control the OL, keeping them away from his body and keeps him able to disengage and make plays, but if they do get to his body its over, he doesnt seem able to muscle his way out of the block.

    Coverage: Seems pretty good at it actually. Moves and runs with the receivers well, made some plays significantly deep down the field, shadowed the receiver really tight, made some good plays in zone, looks to have good closing speed for making plays on the ball. Was actually pretty impressed with him in this respect. He also reads the QB’s eyes really well and almost reads and react like a safety.

    Cons: Really only one is size. 6’1 231, and im not sure they arent squeezing in a little on the weight because he looks small out there. He would need to put on a good 20-25 to really be able to fight off NFL sized OL. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of core strength either and survives because of technique, he will need that technique and about 20+lbs of muscle at the next level. He might be better off moving to WLB in the NFL, though i do like some of the quarterbacking i have seen him do on some plays shifting the defensive call. Seems to have some natural leadership skills on the field.

  19. D says:

    I dont see Matakevich as a Zach Thomas guy. He’s not a strong as Zach was. Zach looked like the has a cobra hood on his back he had so much muscle mass on his upper body. He physically took on lineman, i dont see that in Matakevich. I do like him a lot as a prospect, but i really dont see Zach Thomas in him at this point.

    • Tim Knight says:

      I was just pointing out that he has the same size and speed limitations Zach had and he’d have to overachieve those at the next level.

  20. Mike E. says:


    I think there’s always that inevitable comparison to any smaller school LB we would love to be the next Zach Thomas. It’s not something I think any of us really believe will happen, more just hope it can happen.

  21. wyoming85 says: ‏@DraftScout 16m16 minutes ago
    #ShrineGame: Fahn Cooper impresses during East practice. @dpbruger @shrine_game #NFLDraft Ole Miss Football

  22. Al in MIA says:

    CBS4 Indy ‏@CBS4Indy 2h2 hours ago

    #Colts name Brian Schottenheimer new QB coach

  23. The Flying Pig says:

    next week
    wedge will mention a Zach Thomas comparison
    but its not for Matakevich

  24. Al in MIA says:

    Saw this on twitter yesterday…good stuff on what assistants go through

  25. Tim Knight says:

    I don’t think you look for a Zach Thomas, you just find him. Zach wasn’t expected to be Zach when Jimmy Johnson drafted him, he was expected to be a STs guy and backup to Del Rio but he started making every tackle in camp and all that changed. LOL

  26. Al in MIA says:

  27. Al in MIA says:

    wtf LOL

  28. D says:

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 8: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida (A)
    Round 2 Pick 11: Shilique Calhoun, DE/OLB, Michigan State (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 10: Tyler Matakevich, OLB/ILB, Temple (A)
    Round 4 Pick 9: Sebastian Tretola, OG, Arkansas (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 8: Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 11: Alex McCalister, DE/OLB, Florida (A-)
    Round 7 Pick 6: Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas (C-)
    Round 7 Pick 10: Brian Poole, CB, Florida (B)

  29. Tim Knight says:

    Very classy by Don Felder who both Frey and Henley mistreated and held grudges after lawsuits.

  30. wyoming85 says:

    Miami Dolphins Cheer ‏@MDCheer 2h2 hours ago
    Say hello to your Cheerleader of the Week, @MDC_Chantal! Visit for more!

  31. wyoming85 says:

    Sydney Seau ‏@SydneySeau 1h1 hour ago
    Today you would be turning 47 and I would be making old man jokes. Happy birthday dad, I love you forever and always

  32. Tim Knight says:

    Not sure if this got lost in the article I posted earlier but not only is Jeremiah Washburn being hired as an asst. OL coach, but his father Jim Washburn is also coming aboard as a senior defensive assistant who was the asst. DL coach in DET when Suh was there.

  33. getterdone says:

    D, Matakevich doesn’t need 20-25 more lbs, you’re kidding right???
    He’s already listed at about 4.73 speed. Too much more weight & he’d be so slow he’d be off the roster.
    6’1 231 isn’t that undersized in today’s fast paced & pass oriented NFL.
    He’s taller than ZT.
    With that said, he needs to bulk more upper body and core as you said, but 7-10lbs should be more than enough if he keeps his BMI down.
    I think he’s a nice looking prospect for the Phins with guys like Suh & Phillips/Mitchell in front of him in the middle.

    WTG Wedge, good call on this kid. He’s not an athletic freak, but he’s a FOOTBALL player.
    That we need more of on this team!

    BTW, I like a similar prospect in Nick Vigil, Zach’s younger brother from Utah St. He’s everywhere too. 😉

    • Tim Knight says:

      Some say like with Zach, take his height listing as very generous. They say he looks pretty small on the field and he’s probably not even 6-0. But he is a football player.

  34. getterdone says:

    Welcome aboard Washburn’s…the elder Jim is a very good hire to help a 1st time DC in Vance Joseph….whew, makes me a lil less worried on Defense now.

  35. getterdone says:

    The Chargers have applied to trademark “Los Angeles Chargers.”
    It looks like this is really happening. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Monday the Bolts were working to “finalize” a deal to share the Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood.
    …and also with this move, there is now talk of the Raiders moving to San Antonio.
    WTF, the NFL is really screwing itself up in so many ways. I don’t like it!

  36. wyoming85 says:

    Tony Pauline ‏@TonyPauline 18s18 seconds ago
    Tyrone Holmes/DE/Montana has looked terrific today. Explosive, plays like his hairs on fire and beating blocks all day.

  37. wyoming85 says:

    Tony Pauline ‏@TonyPauline 5m5 minutes ago
    James Cowser/Southern Utah just walked Tyler Marz/Wisconsin back into the pocket for the second time today.

  38. Tim Knight says:

    Wyo, what are these reports from?

  39. wyoming85 says:

    Brett Tessler
    Extremely proud of my Miami Dolphins client Matt Darr on just being named to the NFL’s All-Rookie Team!!!

  40. Tim Knight says:

    GD, I wouldn’t draft Matakevich with the idea he’s our starter at MLB. If we were to get him in say the mid rounds and he took over the job like Zach did that would be great. We don’t know yet if he’ll be overmatched.

    • getterdone says:

      If he’s a mid round pick then of course he has to compete Tim.
      Also depends on if we keep Misi, Sheppard & what we do in FA before the draft.

    • getterdone says:

      Miami Dolphins ✔ @MiamiDolphins
      .@M_Darr finished third in the @NFL  among all punters with a 47.6 gross punting average.

      • Tim Knight says:

        He was very good and along with Franks we made the right decisions with both of those guys. Sorry Stanger. LOL

  41. getterdone says:

    Wyo, lemme know if you see any good SB reports about LT Willie Beavers from W. Mich.
    He’s logged a lot of productive time in @ LT.
    He could be a real solid get in the 4th round & play LG for us and groom to fill Albert’s shoes in a year or two.

  42. Tim Knight says:

    “Hey don’t google Kitty e johnson on twitter.”


  43. D says:

    Cant help that UF has great athletes….

    Also i didnt reach for a QB, I took a QB that is projected in the later rounds, in the later rounds, to be a backup. If i wanted to select someone to be Tanny’s eventual replacement i would have drafted higher. You need to stop lumping me in with those that feel he needs to be replaced, i feel he needs to get better…thats all… im sorry if you cant handle that truth…. 🙂

    • getterdone says:

      I thought it was a good draft above. Maybe a little too heavy on LB’s though.
      You’ve seen me mention the 2 QB’s named Brandon before, so I think Brandon Allen is a good get say in the 5th or so.
      I also like Brandon Doughty from Davie, FL.
      We’ll likely need to move on from Matt Moore with some type of potential.
      I really hope we can get a comp pick or 2 some where or a couple extra picks in a trade down.

      • Tim Knight says:

        I can’t see us getting any comp picks. We lost Odrick and signed Suh. We also extended RT and Pouncey. I don’t think we had any other losses that were significant to trump what we added.

    • Tim Knight says:

      I said that because the QB you drafted got a C- grade in the 7th rd which makes me think he shouldn’t have been drafted and is likely a wasted pick.

      Al Sherlocked your UF bias. LOL

  44. D says:

    So GD, how many 4-3 ILB’s are 230 or below? Its not many, in fact all the ones that have gone to the NFL recently have converted to OLB. He will need more than 7-10 lbs, and with thier trainers its really easy to gain weight AND put on speed, its not an either or man. He also moves a lot better than 4.7 suggests, we will see at combine what his numbers wind up being.

    • getterdone says:

      Guess a lot depends on him at this point. Not sure if Grier is attracted to that type of player or not. He did want physical he said, but that doesn’t always mean being huge either.
      Hopefully Burke will have some input as well as Washburn.
      If we did get him, it’s not a crime if he didn’t work as well inside as outside. As long as he can play.
      We still don’t know for sure though if we’ll be a 4-3 1st or a 3-4 1st. I’m sure a hybrid of both will still be in play, but one will dominate the other by personnel & matchups.

      • D says:

        I like him, id be happy with him in mid rounds, i would expect him to be drafted to be a developmental ILB guy, or a OLB starter. We could move Jenkins to ILB.

      • getterdone says:

        But Jelani would need an extra 10+ lbs by your math. 😉 jbb

  45. Tim Knight says:

    I’d like to add a quality LB prospect from the draft but I also think Hewitt is going to be in the mix. Once he seemed to know the defense his instincts helped him find the ball.

  46. Tim Knight says:

    GD, Jenkins is 245.

    • D says:

      He also has a lot of upper body strength to take on blockers. But yeah, if he moved over there he probably would, thats why he is at OLB lol.

      • Tim Knight says:

        I like Jenkins’ instincts. A lot of us forget he played on a high ankle sprain most of the year and there is no way a player can be the same with that. Misi had the same thing last year.

        But that’s why we need not just upgrades, but more depth.

    • getterdone says:

      Last I saw was a lil less. Hey, let’s weigh him….lol

      BTW, I too am looking for Hewitt & Vigil to make a jump in their 2nd years.
      Maybe Matt Burke can bring out the best in them too.

  47. D says:

    getterdone says:
    January 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm
    I thought it was a good draft above. Maybe a little too heavy on LB’s though.
    You’ve seen me mention the 2 QB’s named Brandon before, so I think Brandon Allen is a good get say in the 5th or so.
    I also like Brandon Doughty from Davie, FL.
    We’ll likely need to move on from Matt Moore with some type of potential.
    I really hope we can get a comp pick or 2 some where or a couple extra picks in a trade down.
    Those DE/OLB guys are both DE’s I only had 2 LB’s, and im with Piggy in the thought we could use two.I double dipped on DE, CB and LB

    • getterdone says:

      D, we do need a lot of help on D.
      Those DE/OLB combo guys if taken could mean more 3-4 for us as I stated earlier.

  48. getterdone says:

    Patriots placed ILB Jerod Mayo on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
    Mayo hurt his shoulder in the third quarter of Saturday’s win over Kansas City. The two-time Pro Bowler only played 36.2 percent of defensive snaps this year as the No. 4 linebacker behind Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jonathan Freeny. New England can save $8 million against the cap by declining Mayo’s option for 2016. Mayo is also due a $4 million roster bonus on March 9.
    Since we’re talking so much about LB’s.
    I was commenting to a female friend watching the KC/NE playoff game. I was like, see that guy Freeny making the tackle for a loss, that used to be a Dolphin.
    See that guy Ninkovich sacking Alex Smith, that used to be a Dolphin.
    She’s like, why didn’t you guys keep them….I was like, Long Story from a far away land that started in Ireland….LOL

    • Tim Knight says:

      Freeny was an okay LB this year, nothing special. Just because he made a play or two doesn’t make him a big loss. LOL

  49. getterdone says:

    Alain Poupart @apoupartFins
    .@MiamiDolphins sign TE Dominique Jones and QB Zac Dysert to future contracts.

    Alain Poupart @apoupartFins
    Dysert is Miami of Ohio’s all-time passing leader. He surpassed a guy by the name of Roethlisberger.
    Hmm, this is a Gase move…IMO. Dysert was in both Denver & Chicago during recent offseason.
    At least the Phins are already looking at ways of replacing Moore.

  50. wyoming85 says:

    Miami Dolphins Cheer ‏@MDCheer 13m13 minutes ago
    Watch the making of this year’s swimsuit calendar. Part 1 airs this Saturday at 7:30 on @CBSMiami

  51. wyoming85 says: ‏@BoMarchionte 7m7 minutes ago Tampa, FL
    Sam Madison coaching up DBs @Shrine_Game still looks like he could back pedal and shut down a WR

  52. Tim Knight says:

    I think the best plan of attack for us would be to address the OL in FA – find a guard we consider starter quality and a OT better than Fox for depth. Then I’d draft the best defensive prospects on our board the first 3 rounds (DE, LB and DB in no particular order). I’d also look to add a LB in FA better than Sheppard and Paysinger.

    After that draft an OL to compete with Thomas, Turner and Douglas for one starting spot and depth with one likely not making the team. To me the real key is keeping Albert, Pouncey and James on the field together for most of the season which hasn’t happened yet.

  53. Mike E. says:

    I just think we need to be real careful not to half-ass the O-line. I want that O-line to be able to pass block, so finding a cheap G in FA and then draft a G in the 4th -7th, and a T in 18th RD doesn’t cut it for me. Can we just give RT one season with good protection? Please???

    • Tim Knight says:

      I said starter quality not necessarily cheap. Do you think there won’t be guards available in FA better than what we have without breaking the bank? Are there no OTs with some experience better than Fox? I think they’ll definitely be available.

      Turner and Douglas can improve. I’m not sure what Thomas’ status will be because he’s had so many negative plays and he’s been around longer.

      Like I said, keeping Albert, Pouncey and James on the field together for most of the season is key.

      Also, running an offense with logical play calling will go a long way. A big part of our problem was the abandonment of the running game and putting our weak link on their heels all day. It made no sense when we showed we could run the ball. Changing that would help with the same personnel on the OL. Now upgrade it and get even better.

      It’s not that tall of a task if you address it with solid players. We don’t need to add stars on the OL.

  54. son of a son of a shula says:

    You could give Tannehill the Wall of China and he still couldn’t hit a TD pass in the 4th qtr – lol

  55. son of a son of a shula says:

    Tim, those practice updates today are from the Shrine game not the Senior Bowl

  56. Tim Knight says:

    Son, No Fun Aloud?

  57. son of a son of a shula says:

    I’m glad to see some Suh-centric people brought in – gotta keep that beast happy. Now add some heat seeking missiles around him and we’ll be much better off.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Yeah an impact LB and DB added to what we have could change a lot. You forget how different a unit can be with two impact players added.

  58. getterdone says:

    FA OL suggestions….someone like Ramon Foster @ LG. He’s played well for the Steelers.
    Then someone like FA OT/OG’s Chris Clark or Ryan Harris. Both have played RT & LT too.
    None of these should cost a fortune. So try and get 2 of them.
    Then look to the draft for Defense mostly, as mentioned above.

  59. Mike E. says:


    Better than we had is easy . . . How about competent? We tried the “this guy will work out” with Shelley Smith, Linkenbach, and guess what, they didn’t work out.

  60. son of a son of a shula says:

    I hope you don’t want to spend #8 on the Oline we don’t have any Defensive Ends the way it sits right now. Hopefully Gase and Christianson can teach the boy how to get the ball out and/or get the hell out of there.

  61. getterdone says:

    Alain Poupart @apoupartFins
    .@MiamiDolphins LB coach Mark Duffner officially joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the same capacity on Tuesday.

  62. olddolphan says:


  63. olddolphan says:

    Tried for quite some time to get back on the board without luck today. Anyone else having problems with getting on this site??

  64. The Flying Pig says:

    He was a lb at USC but I’m not sure he’s not a safety in the NFL

  65. The Flying Pig says:

    I think it’s funny that both Gronk and JJ Watt have brothers who play FB that are coming out in the NFL

    We need a FB (I hope)
    And if we want one with NFL bloodlines it’s gonna be there for us

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