Tyler Matakevich may not have got much attention last year at Temple. The Owls linebacker was a monster against the run but unfortunately Matakevich flew under the radar despite the season he and the team had in 2015. However, Saturday in the Senior Bowl it was the Tyler Matakevich show as he was all over the field and wound up with five tackles before halftime.
Listed at 6′, 230 pounds Matakevich was the heart and soul of the Temple defense last year. Against Penn State in week one the Temple linebacker had 7 tackles and 3 sacks leading his team to the upset win over the Nittany Lions. Matakevich recorded 13 tackles the next week against Cincinnati. In fact, Matakevich recorded double digit tackles in six games this year. He recorded four straight seasons with 100+ tackles. Only seven other people have done that in FBS history. Matakevich also won the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Awards which go to the college defenive player of the year and top linebacker in the country.
Matakevich is fearless and is a run stopper. He is extremely aggressive and plays with a chip on his shoulder. The knock on the Temple star is that he can be overly aggressive and some scouts think he’s not big enough to be an inside linebacker in the NFL. Currently Matakevich is projected to be a late second or third round pick. He helped himself last week at the Senior Bowl with his work ethic and performance in the game.
Matakevich will have a chance next month at the NFL Combine to help his draft stock even more. If he has a good showing it’s likely he could be a mid-second round pick.
A team like the Jets might be a good fit for Matakevich. Todd Bowles is a defensive minded coach and he might be able to bring out the best in the Owl linebaker. The Eagles don’t necessarily need help at linebacker but the fans in Philly would love the way he plays. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a local kid. If Philadelphia wanted to bolster their linebacker corps Matakevich would be a popular pick.