Round | Team | Pos. | School | Name
WR (5-11, 181, 4.28)
An absolute blazer. Is one of the fastest players in the entire 2005 draft class. Improved as a route runner and return specialist with more experience. Shows the ability to pluck on the run when he concentrates. Is a vertical threat with the initial burst and top-end speed to consistently get over the top of defensive backs in coverage. Is a huge home run threat after the catch, as well as on reverses. Also a big-time threat as a KOR specialist. Has good vision, smooth hips, good COD skills, initial explosiveness and big-league acceleration. Will win most foot races in the open field. Has character concerns. Level of competition is a concern. Lacks ideal size and strength. Will have more trouble getting off the LOS in the NFL. Lacks ideal height as a vertical receiver. Needs to improve his route running skills. Rounds off too many of his routes. Needs to learn to shift his weight better when getting in and out of breaks. Does not show a good ability to find soft spots in zone coverage. Focus and concentration is too inconsistent in terms of catching the ball. Is a below average blocker and will never get much better in that facet. Mathis won six state track championships in high school. He was a non-qualifier because of academics in 2001. He finished with 24 receptions for 615 yards and three TD's in 2002, whjile also averaging 20.9 yards per kickoff return on 20 attempts. As a junior in 2003 he became a fulltime starter and finished with 40 receptions for 977 yards and nine TD's. He also returned 17 kickoffs for 343 yards and one punt for 42 yards. As a senior in 2004, Mathis finished with 30 receptions for 884 yards and nine TD's. He also returned 25 kickoffs for 888 yards and five TD's as a senior. Mathis ran track throughout his career at Hampton and was a three-time NCAA track All-American in the 200 meters. Mathis is a track star turned football player. He has some character concerns, lacks ideal size and needs some refinement as a route runner. However, he's one of the fastest prospects in this year's class and he improved each of the last three seasons on the gridiron. Mathis may take more time than most Day 1 prospects to develop but his versatility and speed are enticing. Mathis has the potential to develop into a vertical No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in the NFL and he also has a lot of upside as a KOR specialist at the next level, which is why it's not out of the realm of possibility for Mathis to come off the board as high as the second round.
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