25 Jul Preseason Scouting Notes: Phidarian Mathis, DL, Alabama
Redshirt Junior | 6’4″ 317 lbs | Wisner, LA | April 26, 1998
A DL who needs to work on his pass rush consistency, but has a promising bull rush along with the run stuffing ability to succeed at the next level
In his second year as a rotational piece for Alabama, Phidarian Mathis took a step forward to be a more productive defensive lineman. He finished his redshirt sophomore campaign starting two of the 12 games he played in, notching 27 tackles, including half a stop for loss, he also contributed two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. He accumulated these stats after earning SEC All-Freshman Team honors in 2018 as he recorded 18 tackles and a fumble recovery across 15 games of action he played in. He primarily lined up as a 2i-technique for Alabama’s defensive coordinator Pete Golding’s 3-4 base defense, but due to his lack of athleticism and versatility, he didn’t have a lot of other experience along the rest of the defensive line.
– Takes up a ton of space while two-gapping
– High-end play strength
– Consistently maintains responsibility in run fits
– Good block shedding ability on run plays
– Plays with ideal leverage and pad level when defending the run
– Gap disciplined as a pass rusher
– Forceful bull rush overwhelms inferior offensive lineman
Areas to improve:
– Has to improve his motor
– Hand usage and placement need to improve
– Has to be around the ball more often and increase production
– Needs to add another signature pass rush move
– Has to have a clear pass rush plan on a higher number of snaps
Mathis profiles as an ideal 2i-technique in a 3-4 base scheme. He will ideally start out as a 1st and 2nd down run defender. Being a three down defensive lineman by his second season at the next level is dependent upon if he presents a clear pass rush plan on a higher amount of snaps and add another signature pass rush move. With the opportunity to really work on other pass rushing skills, he could really interest teams looking for a run stuffing 2i-technique or 1-technique. If his bull rush remains a strength, his run defending ability doesn’t decline, and his production keeps on its upward trajectory, Mathis could hear his name called during the first few to days of the NFL draft.
What to watch in 2020:
Will Mathis put in the work to become a more consistent pass rusher? If he has the work ethic to expand his pass rushing repertoire he will become a middle of the pack interior run defender and a decent pass rusher if a team is in a pinch on 3rd downs at the next level. To become a presence along the interior of the defensive line, he’ll need to work on adding another signature pass rush move while having a clear pass rush plan on a high number of snaps.