Phidarian Mathis NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Alabama DL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04: Alabama Crimson Tide Defensive Linemen Phidarian Mathis (48) sacks Georgia Bulldogs Quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) during the SEC Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on December 04, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'4 1/4"


HAND: 10 3/8"

ARM: 34 5/8"

WINGSPAN: 6'11 7/8"





BROAD: 9'1"


— Great base and anchor. Consistently keeps his feet wide and balanced. Hard to move off his spot.

— Good length and technique vs. the run. Locks OL out of his frame consistently.

— Great eyes and discipline. Reads OL block patterns instantly and does well to play with his eyes in the backfield.

— Can play primary to secondary gap and cross-face when necessary.

— Good lateral quickness, both against the run and the pass.

— Above-average lower-body strength. Can bull rush on passing downs.

— More flexible than someone his size should be.

— Sheds blocks with violence.


— Below-average first step. Does not come off the ball and gain ground with consistency.

— Strength in his initial punch runs hot and cold.

— Stop/start explosiveness in space is lacking. Can be slow after changing directions.


14 G, 53 TOT, 10.5 TFL, 9 SK, 1 FF, 2 FR


— 2021 second-team All-SEC.

— Named a permanent defensive captain for Alabama in 2021.

— 2021 second-team AFCA All-American.


Phidarian Mathis is the high-floor defensive lineman to target in this class. A four-year contributor at Alabama, Mathis has a thick build with surprisingly nimble feet, which allowed him to play anywhere from 0-technique to 5-technique in the Tide's scheme.

Mathis' game is defined by his awareness and ability to read plays instantly, as well as how to handle different blocking schemes. He can sit and anchor against double-teams just as well as he can move with the flow of the play in zone and play with his eyes in the backfield. His eyes, length and violence in shedding blocks also allow him to cross-face and play a secondary gap.

If anything, Mathis' initial punch tends to lack pop, but he wins in enough other areas that it rarely derails him. As a pass-rusher, he does not have an explosive first step. It's rare that he wins right away. That said, Mathis has the leg drive, active hands and surprising flexibility for his size to consistently work free. He also has quick feet when working laterally, so Alabama regularly asked him to loop outside to attack offensive tackles.

Being a fifth-year senior and only sporting average explosiveness, Mathis probably is what he is at this point. Room for growth is limited. However, in his current state, he will be a good NFL run defender with enough tools to be an effective complementary pass-rusher. Combine that with his ability to be effective all over the interior defensive line, and it's easy to see how he should be a quality starter right away.

GRADE: 7.8 (Potential Impact Player - 2nd Round)

PRO COMPARISON: Dalvin Tomlinson