Matt Szczur- 2011 Draft Scouting Report


Update: Szczur is going to play baseball for the Chicago Cubs and will not be in the N.F.L .draft, but Mackenzie took the time to write this and I’ve had it for awhile so I thought I’d post it, anyway.

Villanova Wide Receiver/Running back/Quarterback/Kick Returner/Punt Returner/Outfielder/2nd Baseman/Shortstop/Catcher (let’s just call him a Do Everything Man) Matthew Szczur (pronounced: cezar; he’s Polish) has got to be the most interesting player it has ever been my pleasure to scout. He could be one amazing force at the NFL level.

Let’s start off with Szczur’s physical tools. Szczur is a pretty short guy who could afford to add a little bit of bulk, but he has pretty good speed for his size. Szczur’s lack of size really hurts his strength, hindering his production as a blocker at the FCS level, though.

Szczur has excellent numbers. As a running back, he has always been able to keep a great yards per carry at Villanova, though he never carries much of a workload because of all his time spent at receiver. As a receiver, his numbers are impressive considering how limited he is played at the position. He is also listed as the team’s second string quarterback, so he can’t really play one position long enough to dominate it statistically (see: Dexter McCluster, especially in 08′, acting as Ole Miss’ wildcat threat).

Szczur just might have the best intangibles in american sports history. There is only one guy who probably rivals Szczur when it comes to intangibles (all Florida, well, all college football fans should know this). I am pretty conflicted. Who has the better character; the guy that preaches to prisoners and does missionary work in the East Asia/Australia area, or the guy who donates bone marrow to Leukemia patients all over the country? If you chose the bone marrow guy, you think Szczur has the better intangibles; if you chose the religious guy, you think Tebow has the better intangibles. Aside from that, Szczur plays with ridiculous on field intensity, he is a tough runner, he works ridiculously hard, and he is more than a willing blocker. I truly love Szczur’s intangibles.

When it comes to versatility, Szczur might also be the best in american sports history. He is pretty adept at all those positions in football, but here is the most amazing thing about Szczur’s versatility; it’s not like he just plays on the Villanova baseball team on the side; he is a legit good baseball player. Most MLB draft experts said he was a third round talent had he not been so strongly committed to playing football, but he still went in the fifth round to Chicago Cubs too. And he was pretty good with the Cubs as well. That versatility comes around once in a lifetime, and it makes Szczur an even better player.

Most people consider Szczur a wide receiver; however, I like him as a running back a lot more than most people do, and I am on the fence of what position I will call him. So I’ll kind of write a scouting report on both positions.

Szczur as a receiver is a solid route runner with good quickness in and out of breaks. He displays a natural ability to find holes in the defense, and get himself into positions on the field with a lot of open space for him to run. He also displays a pretty quick first step off the line of scrimmage, he accelerates quickly, and he knows how to use some deceptive head fakes and footwork in his routes.

Szczur has mediocre hands. He frequently traps balls against his frame, he drops some passes, and he doesn’t display great athletic ability to catch the ball at its highest point. He also seems to lack body control in the air. But I have definitely seen worse.

Though Szczur puts up a ridiculous effort onto the field as a blocker, his lack of height really hurts his production as a blocker. He does possess excellent strength for his size, but he is probably too small to ever be a dominant blocker at the NFL level.

As a running back, Szczur displays excellent vision that allows him to have a lot of success at the position. He does a good job of following his blocks and bursting through the seam of the line. He also isn’t a one dimensional, inside run only or outside run only back that doesn’t have the balance to succeed at the NFL level.

Szczur has enough toughness to be a good inside runner. Despite his size, he can be a powerful back that will run over some defenders by using all of his limited power. Despite his reckless style of play, he has been completely durable during his entire career at Villanova, which makes his tough running plausible at the NFL level without excessive injuries.

Szczur has excellent shiftiness and quickness that allows him to be a good outside runner. His speed and change of direction skills makes him tough to tackle in the open field, making him an explosive big play threat. Obviously, this could come in handy at receiver as well.

Overall, I am excited about what I have seen from Szczur. It’s not easy to find the most versatile athlete in the country as well as the one with the best intangibles in the same school. For it to be one person is quite simply, unthinkable. That versatility, combined with his intangibles, could make him one special player down the road. And lastly, because of the whole blocking issue and the height, I think I will call him a running back.

NFL Comparison: As I said before, he is unique, but I think I will go with Danny Woodhead with SOME height (Szczur is 5’10).

Grade: 85 (worthy of a mid-second round pick)

Projection: 66 (will be a mid-fourth round pick)

(Editor’s note: Szczur has signed a sizeable contract with the Chicago Cubs to play baseball so it’s unlikely he’ll be drafted at all)

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