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Best RB in the Draft

  • NickDaNiner
  • Info N/A
Ryan Matthews
5'11, 220 pounds | Running back | Fresno State

2009 STATS
ATTEMPTS YARDS TOUCHDOWNS
276 1,808 19
CAREER STATS
ATTEMPTS YARDS TOUCHDOWNS
534 3,280 39

Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Tremendous quickness and change of direction ability. Consistently balance allows him to get full force on his cuts. Can get to top speed as he hits the second level of the defense. Lacks the top notch speed in the open field but the short area burst makes him appear to be faster than he is.

Ball Protection: Holds the ball high and tight to his body. Strong grip, ball is rarely away from his body even when evading tacklers in space. Has 3 career fumbles despite 535 carries.

Elusiveness/Feet/Agility: Makes defenders miss in traffic. Makes himself small despite possessing a big frame. Very loose hips and light feet before the burst is turned on. Can run through a defender but prefers to make them miss with the short area quickness.

Pass Catching: Only 19 career receptions. Was often taken off the field on passing downs. Does not have a lot of experience running routes. Rare to see the ball thrown his way.

Pass Blocking: Does not have as much experience as a pass blocker as you would like. However he is capable. Shows aggression and strength when stepping to defend the blitz. Willing to stick his hat in there. Does not hold a block well, basically a one pop blocker.

Power: Easily runs his way through arm tackles. Consistently gains yards after contact. Runs with great pad level and gets each one of his 220 pounds behind the inside runs. Can lower his shoulder and push a pile of 4-5 defenders backward, tremendous leg drive.

Size/Length/Hand Size: Has the ideal body for a back that carries the ball 20+ times per game. Has balanced strength from head to toe, but enough flexibility to remain agile and quick throughout all levels of the defense. Legs are muscular and stout.

Speed: Lacks the top tier speed in the open field, but has the extra gear to run away from most defenders. One of those guys that will play faster than he times. If he has the initial angle advantage, he almost always beats the defender to the intersection.

Vision/Balance/Running Instincts: A natural runner with the ball in his hands. Anticipates running lanes before they open up. Top tier balance that spends very little time gathering himself after a broken tackle. Constantly moving forward with plenty of force.

Final Word: Mathews has an outside shot at being the first back taken in April’s draft. While he does not bring the value to the passing game that some others do, he is the top natural runner in this class. His ability to break tackles and maintain his balance is unmatched, and he is fast enough to break off big runs. He led the nation in rushing and if he was part of a big time collegiate program, Mathews would have be a legit contender for the Heisman Trophy. His best games came against Fresno State’s toughest competition, including a 234 yard – 3 TD performance against Boise State in which he averaged over 12 yards per carry. He is the kind of back that can be trusted right away to give a strong boost to the ground attack. He will need time to improve his pass blocking and receiving skills, but according to the Fresno State coaching staff, there isn’t a player in this draft that will enter the NFL with higher character and/or a stronger work ethic.

I think this guy would be an amazing addition to the 49ers! He's the best pure runner in this draft and he does have another gear to hit the home run and be our change of pace guy. If somehow he slipped to our 2nd round pick we have to take him, its a must. I know we have much more pressin needs but this guy is a talent in the mold of LT... I really don't think he makes it outta the first especially past the Patriots he'd give the feature back they've been missing.

So give me your honest opinion guys?....
Nice I was waiting for someone to post about him. My cus goes to Fresno St. Dude is a stud. His stats speak for himself. Too much hype on Spiller, McCluster, Best.

The funny thing about Spiller is when Davis was @ Clemson he beat Spiller in the 40 3 straight yrs. Funny how no one brings that up except for Dabo.
Probably the least needed position in the draft for the 49ers. and I'm a WAC fan.

The difference between Ryan and Spiller or Best, is what a team would use them for.
  • Old_school
  • Info N/A
I think that RB is a priority in this drft, but not a first round priority. Gore is playing on two surgically repaired knees and we are only one cheap shot away from having a mediocre running game.
Well then I guess the same could be said for about 24 teams in the NFL. There are only a handful of teams that have 2 RBs that could start in most cases.
My opinion is that you are from Fresno.
Jahvid.
hes the "Best"
Originally posted by Old_school:
I think that RB is a priority in this drft, but not a first round priority. Gore is playing on two surgically repaired knees and we are only one cheap shot away from having a mediocre running game.

Priority? Running backs can pretty much start on day 1, if they are any good. So why spend a high(ish) draft pick on a running back when Gore could (could) be good for another four seasons. And we have no idea if we have anything in Coffee or nor.

5th round or later? Fine
Originally posted by wailers15:
The funny thing about Spiller is when Davis was @ Clemson he beat Spiller in the 40 3 straight yrs. Funny how no one brings that up except for Dabo.

I love me some James Davis, but he isn't anywhere close to being as fast as Spiller. Where did you get that info?
Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by Old_school:
I think that RB is a priority in this drft, but not a first round priority. Gore is playing on two surgically repaired knees and we are only one cheap shot away from having a mediocre running game.

Priority? Running backs can pretty much start on day 1, if they are any good. So why spend a high(ish) draft pick on a running back when Gore could (could) be good for another four seasons. And we have no idea if we have anything in Coffee or nor.

5th round or later? Fine

another 4 years? he's turning 27 has had surgery on both knees and shoulder blades, ankle problems, hasn't played a full season since 2006. If Gore misses time which is a high probability based on his injury history we are gonna need someone to carry the load.
His running style is just like Adrian Peterson's, but he is slower and less explosive. Not a bad RB. But I like CJ Spiller better.
I go to Fresno State, watch every game and am a huge fan of Mathews, but would definitely question the niners front office if they considered him in the first round.

Mathews is likely the most complete RB of all the top tier backs and I love his style of play, but that doesn't change the fact that he lacks elite speed and is very injury prone. Plus he did rack up a good portion of his yardage against lesser talent (yes he did play well against Boise, Cinci, and Wisconsin).

If for some reason he ever fell to the second I'd be happy to see him groomed into the next every down back for the niners, but he doesn't present the value to this team necessary to justify a first rounder.
Originally posted by TheGoldStandard:
Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by Old_school:
I think that RB is a priority in this drft, but not a first round priority. Gore is playing on two surgically repaired knees and we are only one cheap shot away from having a mediocre running game.

Priority? Running backs can pretty much start on day 1, if they are any good. So why spend a high(ish) draft pick on a running back when Gore could (could) be good for another four seasons. And we have no idea if we have anything in Coffee or nor.

5th round or later? Fine

another 4 years? he's turning 27 has had surgery on both knees and shoulder blades, ankle problems, hasn't played a full season since 2006. If Gore misses time which is a high probability based on his injury history we are gonna need someone to carry the load.

Priorities. Gore is an excellent rb. Other positions? Not so much. So we can either take a back who might sit on the bench behind Frank for 2 or 3 years, or we can take a guy who will likely be needed to start this year.

Yes, Gore won't last forever. But why rush to replace him when other priorities are so demanding. And like I said, we have no idea if we have anything in Coffee or not
Its obvious Gore cannot handle a full load at RB, as good as he is, we need someone with just as much pop or more to spell him for 10 to 15 touches / looks a game. A change of pace back would do wonders for this team. Gore got hurt this season, last season every season since the big 1600 yard one.. These we're mostly high ankle sprains, which are very painful and usually once you get one it takes the entire season to get full cutting ability back . I just think anyone who says we dont need help at RB is blind. ITS NOT the #1 priority but should be looked into somewhere in the 2-4 round range.