Scouting The Draft: Brian Cushing & Clay Matthews

Chad Henne might be hoping that Cushing lands in Miami.

It's time to begin what I hope will be just the beginning of our unique scouting reports.  Why are they unique?  Because they come from fellow bloggers (a.k.a. fans of the team), meaning the people writing them have likely seen every single snap that their particular player has taken at the college level - something even the so-called "draft experts" likely can't say.  Hopefully, we can get a chance to highlight various potential Dolphin draft picks - especially potential 1st round targets.

We'll begin our scouting reports with two players - both linebackers from USC.

Brian Cushing

Height: 6'2 7/8" / Weight: 243
40: 4.74 / Vertical: 35" / Broad: 10'4" / Shuttle: 4.22

Below is what Conquest Chronicles - SBN's USC blog - has to say about Cushing:

Brian Cushing plays the SLB position, but he is able to play MLB. He is fast with great instincts. He has also played the "elephant" position at SC where he is lined up as a defensive end. He can play inside or outside in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive scheme.

Cushing is an aggressive, intense player that does a great job of bringing his body through the ball carrier on tackles and has an intimidation factor

Cushing identifies the play quickly and is not easily fooled by misdirection plays…he stays at home. He can get penetration even when going up against a Tight end. He is a full speed, downhill player who can change direction quickly while also being able to go sideline to sideline with the uncanny ability to open field tackles for his size. Though there have been times when he has taken himself out the play

He is seen to do well in avoiding blocks and his aggressiveness comes out when taking on blockers but he does need to work on shedding blockers. He can drop back into coverage fairly effectively but he can get caught short in certain coverage schemes.

He has had some injury issues as he missed half the 2005 season with a shoulder injury. Missed most of 2007 with an ankle injury.

Matthews points out his next victim. I think I saw Tom Brady up there.

Clay Matthews

Height: 6'3 1/8" / Weight: 240
40: 4.67 / Vertical: 35.5" / Broad: 10'1" / Shuttle: 4.18

And again, below is what Conquest Chronicles has to say about Matthews:

Clay Matthews has been the biggest surprise this season. Matthews is a former walk-on who was under the radar at the start of his senior season. He got his start on special teams in freshman season and he took off from there. He comes from a solid football tree where his father (Clay Jr.), grandfather (Clay Sr.) and uncle (Bruce) all played in the NFL.

Mathews is in that "high speed, low drag" style of play where he just continues to move. He is a tough, versatile player that can play either outside LB or DE. His ability on special teams is very impressive, as he makes impact plays and always finds the ball carrier. He can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Because of his great range and instincts he can play all 3 LB positions.

He is disruptive on the ends and makes a lot of plays in the backfield. Very opportunistic and always around the ball. He too can be too aggressive at times and will have match-up problems in coverage. Less than stellar hands/ball skills. Because of his speed he is a great blitzer but he will try run around blocks instead of through them.

A big thanks to Conquest Chronicles for helping us out with those scouting reports.

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