Editorial Staff

Cliff Matthews – DE #83 – South Carolina

6-4, 268lbs Senior


2007 – (at OLB) 26 Tackles, 20 Solo, 2 TFL, 0 Sacks, 1 QBH

2008 – (at DE) 32 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3 Sacks

2009 – 47 Tackles, 35 Solo, 10 TFL, 7 Sacks, 4 FF, 3 FR


Matthews is a tweener, but he’s able to play either defensive end or outside linebacker well. He could be a 4-3 defensive end (although he’ll have to add strength) or a 3-4 outside linebacker. His strength is his pass rush. He has good speed, burst, and first step. He uses his “violent” hands, long arms, and speed to get past blockers to the quarterback effectively. He’s known as a hard worker and has no character concerns. He has good awareness and recognition skills. He’s a good athlete and has great range. Good tackler. He can really fly around and make big plays.


If he goes to a 4-3 team to play defensive end, he’ll have to add on some bulk. He could also use that added strength to help him against the run. When he’s run at, he can easily be blocked out of the play at times. He lets his pad level get high a little too often and that gets him in trouble against the run as well. Stacking and shedding blocks needs to be worked on.


Cliff Matthews is an athletic guy and a hard worker. That alone helps his cause. He has a few issues, but overall, I think he’s a good prospect. He has the ability to play defensive end or outside linebacker. He started out as an OLB at South Carolina in 2007, but his final three seasons, he’s been at DE. He does well getting to the quarterback, but against the run he could get taken advantage of. If he’s placed in the right situation in the pros, he could really flourish. I like him best as an OLB in a 3-4.

Projected Round:

2nd round

Check out some video of Matthews after the Jump!