Tyler Matakevich, Temple
With over 100 tackles in each of his four seasons at the Temple University, linebacker Tyler Matakevich finished as the Owls’ all-time leading tackler (493), and he capped off his stellar career at Temple as first-team All-American in his senior year. Also, Matakevich came away with both the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award in 2015, the first Temple linebacker to do so in school history, per OwlSports.com.
At 6’0”, 238 pounds, Matakevich has relatively average size for an NFL inside linebacker, but he makes up for his lack of ideal measurements with his instincts and play recognition ability. Also, Matakevich possesses a very high motor both on and off the field, as he is always in pursuit to make the play and dedicates a great deal of his time to the film room in preparation.
To put it simply, Matakevich won’t amaze you with his speed or athleticism. Unlike Brothers, Matakevich doesn’t have the play strength either to make up for his lack of acceleration and burst, which in turn, has traditionally led to opposing offensive linemen bullying him near the line of scrimmage. Though he will constantly fight to get off blocks, Matakevich will struggle to hold his ground against some of the bigger, stronger offensive linemen in the NFL.
Though there are a lot of negative aspects to his game, Matakevich is an instinctive linebacker with a nose for the football. Regardless of whether or not he is strong enough or fast enough to excel as three-down linebacker at the next level, NFL teams should remain confident in the fact that Matakevich will find a way to get the job done.
Matakevich highlighted his love for the game and his playmaking ability on NFL Network April 14.
In Oakland, Matakevich may have to sit a year before he can excel in a starting role, but he is a developmental prospect that could grow into a 100-tackle player as a two-down run defender. If McKenzie were to bring in Matakevich, he would be most valuable in the third or fourth round.