Rankings

Player Display Name: 
Hercules Mata'afa

Outside linebacker
School: Washington State | Conference: PAC 12
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-2 / 254 | 40: 4.76 | DRAFT YR:2018

Rankings

Grade
3.55
Projected Round
4th
Bio: 
Two-year starter who earned First Team AP All-America honors and led Washington State in sacks in all three of his seasons with the Cougars. Led the Pac-12 with 22.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks and made 45 tackles with two forced fumbles as a junior. Led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and recorded 47 tackles and five sacks in 2016. Posted 32 tackles (11 for loss), seven sacks and one forced fumble as a redshirt freshman.
Pos: 
Explosive pass rusher who consistently disrupts the action. Resilient, displays tremendous quickness and explosion and leads by example. Quickly gets back to balance off the initial block, plays hard and gives tremendous effort. Slices through blocks to get behind the line of scrimmage, easily changes direction and alters his angle of attack without losing momentum. Forces the quarterback to move in the pocket with his ability to get pressure, displays speed in every direction of the field and shows a closing burst. Rarely off his feet, easily bends off the edge and plays with body control.
Neg: 
Played out of position last season at defensive tackle. Slowed by the initial hit, handled at the point by blocks and taken from the action by tight ends. Primarily used up the field.
Analysis: 
Mata'afa is a disruptive pass rusher with possibilities as a one-gap defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. Though he needs to polish his game and learn to do the little things, Mata'afa could offer immediate impact as a pass-rush specialist.