Ochaun Mathis 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Transferred to Nebraska after four seasons with the TCU Horned Frogs program
- Originally a 3-star recruit who received offers from Texas, Oklahoma, and others
- Led the Big 12 in sacks during 2020 COVID-shortened season
- Scheme tendencies: Zone-heavy system (Cover 3, quarters, etc.)
- 2022 projected role: Starting EDGE
Pros: Ochaun Mathis is a plus, plus athlete who offers all of the dynamic traits necessary to develop into an impact defender. To go along with his natural burst and first-step quickness, he offers fluidity, flexibility off the edge, and explosiveness in open space. The anatomical length he offers both on the edge as a rusher and in stacking situations is an added bonus and offers Mathis the kind of prototypical skills that will get teams excited about further developing his skills. There’s a lot of upward mobility in his projection given how his role to this point at TCU negated some of his better qualities, too. You see bright flashes of football IQ as a pass rusher with how he sets up tackles and utilizes hand counters to keep himself clean and tighten angles on his upfield charge. Mathis has sufficient strength but you can clearly see room for him to add onto his frame too, which gives him even further upfield projection as you account for a potentially more stout player in the NFL. You see this profile get drafted on day two annually.
Cons: For all of the appeal and intrigue that Ochaun Mathis offers, there are a few critical areas that I need more clarity on. TCU often implemented him on read assignments instead of attack assignments and as a result, some of his best qualities were neutralized on the field—he wasn’t able to attack opposing quarterbacks as a pass rusher with the same aggression you’d like to see with his athleticism. That said, I do think there are some more straightforward improvement opportunities, starting with his anchor in the run game. I’d draft him as a designated pass rusher to play early on but his ability to improve as a run defender is going to be paramount to him commanding earlier attention in the draft. Mathis has a lean frame and while he does bend well, he’s angular with his build and if he’s stood up on contact he will quickly lose real estate. While he offers an effective long arm and some explosiveness, I’d like to see more upper-body strength to recover when he initially gives up his chest to ensure he can recover in close-quarters situations.
Ochaun Mathis NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs