Mathis has great functional strength that shows itself in his ability to play the run at a high level.
Mathis is able to shock blockers and stabilize throughout the duration of the play. While playing the double team, Mathis is able to hold ground and make it difficult for offensive linemen to make it to the second-level defenders. Mathis has great strength that will give him an opportunity to play early as a run-down defender.
Mathis plays the run at a high level using really good technique.
His overall strength allows him to choose which technique he wants to beat offensive linemen with. He can do a quick shock and shed maneuver to make the tackle, or he can effectively lock out offensive linemen and anchor if he needs to maintain gap integrity. Mathis is also effective at setting the edge on outside runs. When he decides to, Mathis can use a quick swim move to blow past offensive linemen and make a tackle in the backfield.
Mathis offers strong pop through his hands.
Mathis has excellent strength in his hands. Uses his strong hands to stabilize and control offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage. He’s seemingly effortlessly able to disengage with offensive linemen by throwing them out of the way. Mathis can also use a stiff long-arm when converting speed to power to push offensive linemen back into the quarterback.
Phidarian Mathis is a former 4-star prospect from the state of Louisiana that was a part of one of those classic LSU vs. Alabama recruiting battles—he chose Alabama. Mathis is a redshirt senior that has been a part of a deep rotation along the Alabama defensive line. In the 2021 season, Mathis took a huge step in production.
This year, Mathis has accumulated more than 40 tackles, nine tackles for loss, and more than seven sacks. Mathis is a versatile defender that can line up in multiple different alignments along a defensive front. He is a technician against the run and is able to consistently lock and shed offensive linemen to make timely tackles. He also has the athleticism combined with an array of pass rush moves to provide pressure from the interior of a defensive line. Mathis can play in multiple fronts and will immediately provide a physical presence for any defensive front. In the NFL, Mathis has the potential to earn a starting role his rookie year and become a productive defensive lineman for many years.
Ideal Role: Versatile interior defender that can stop the run and offer an interior pass rush presence
Scheme Fit: As a 3-4 DE or a 3-tech in an attacking 4-3 defense
Written by Keith Sanchez
Games watched: Ole Miss (2021), Georgia (2021), Florida (2021), Texas A&M (2021)
Best Game Studied: Ole Miss (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Florida (2021)
First Step Explosiveness: He has a good first step that translates itself into the power he is able to generate at the line of scrimmage. He is able to quickly knock back offensive linemen and get great leverage. When he is decisive in coming off the ball, he can utilize his quick first step to apply an interior pass rush.
Flexibility: Mathis’ frame has more upper-body mass than lower body, which can affect his overall mobility. In the open field, Mathis changes direction but has to decelerate fully before redirecting. His limited flexibility also affects movement skills on his counter pass-rush moves—they seem to be telegraphed at times.
Hand Counters: Mathis is a technician with his hands. Has multiple moves that he uses in both the turn and in his pass rush. In the run game, he effectively shoots his hands to shock offensive linemen and quickly disengages. In his pass-rush sequence, he can use a two-hand swipe to get around defenders, or he can use a chop and rip move to apply QB pressure.
Hand Power: See Above.
Run Defending: See Above.
Effort/Motor: Mathis is a part of a defensive line rotation that keeps him fresh and allows for him to provide good effort and hustle on the interior defensive line. He consistently chases ball-carriers down from the backside of a play. He will also make an effort to run 10-plus yards down the field in pursuit of the play.
Football IQ: Mathis plays a multitude of positions along the front, which shows his knowledge of Alabama’s multiple-front defense. He is able to quickly diagnose blocks and properly play them. Mathis has a relatively good IQ that assists in his dominance as a run defender.
Lateral Mobility: Mathis is able to play zone run blocking schemes but can get outreached due to his limited lateral mobility. He has the ability to run sideline to sideline but lacks suddenness in the open field. Mathis will give great effort as a sideline-to-sideline defender but he is primarily a defender that needs to get vertical to become disruptive.
Core/Functional Strength: See Above.
Versatility: Mathis plays multiple positions on the interior of this Alabama defense. On the next level, Mathis will play primarily as a defensive tackle. His versatility will be limited due to his lack of true lateral mobility.
TDN Consensus: 74.00/100 (Fourth Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 70.00/100
Marino Grade: 72.00/100
Harris Grade: 74.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 76.50/100
Weissman Grade: 76.00/100
Parson Grade: 75.00/100