Casey Matthews ILB Oregon
Ht: 6' 1" Wt: 235 lbs 40: 4.7 sec
Promoted to front page by Chris P.
Matthews has played for Oregon, a top rate college program, for 4 full seasons and has been a key leader there throughout his stay. Very consistently excellent college statistics. Motivated player with unquestionable work ethic and football IQ. Reads and reacts to offensive play extremely well and plays with a non-stop motor. Makes plays in coverage and has a knack for finding the ball. Extremely durable without any major injuries or multiple games missed. Oregon Coach Chip Kelly said Matthews is "the most instinctual player" he has ever coached.
Could stand to add more bulk and improve overall strength. Does not shed blockers well and often gets tangled up at the point of attack. Speed is marginal but he plays faster than his straight dash times would indicate. Might have problems limiting yards after contact at the next level.
Why The Browns Should Pick Him
Matthews is better suited to a 4-3 defense than a 3-4 and with the Browns switching to the former, a young, smart, football-savvy linebacker is a great fit. Comes from a winning tradition and bloodline with a key connection to Browns history. I can't think of anything that might excite Browns fans more with this particular pick (70th overall) than the prospect of seeing another Matthews in a Browns uniform.
Why The Browns Should Pass On Him
If the Browns are unable to pick up a wide receiver with the first two picks, this might be the spot to fill what might be a larger need. Matthews is not a physical freak nor an extremely fast player. Size and strength, two key attributes of any linebacker, may be issues in the NFL.
I see Casey Matthews as the 3rd round pick for the Browns this year. The team is obviously making a move to get younger on defense. I think we will definitely see a defensive lineman picked up by the Browns with their 1st or 2nd pick so introducing a young linebacker into the mix under the tutelage of Fujita ties in nicely with the overall strategy. The Pac-10 has produced excellent linebackers who get to see very good pro-style offenses on a regular basis. I like Matthew's progress at the college level. He entered as an undersized freshman but made steady improvement until he could be mentioned in the same sentence with the best LBs in the country. There is no reason to believe that he will not continue to improve in the NFL. I also like his intangibles. It is good to have players that are proven leaders from winning programs (see Colt McCoy). My great fear is that teams will realize how underrated he is currently projected in the draft and that he will go in the 2nd round. I don't like the idea of the Browns picking up Matthews with their 2nd pick so if he starts projecting higher, I don't see him in a Browns uniform. I'm not totally against the idea of the Browns moving up a few spots to get Matthews if they can do it for a late-round pick.