Time for the next edition of our Miami Dolphins 90-in-90 series. Today’s look will take us to an undrafted free agent, hoping to make an impression and claim a spot with the team. Every day (or nearly every day), we take a closer look at one player on Miami’s roster, eventually breaking down every member of the team.
Throughout the series, we take a look at how the player performed in the 2017 season, then look at why they could progress or regress in 2018. We finally provide a look at whether the player is likely to make the roster or now. The first eight posts in the series too a look at wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, and safety/cornerback Walt Aikens. Today we look at undrafted free agent defensive end Claudy Mathieu.
Signed by the Dolphins after the Draft, Mathieu started all 11 games at Notre Dame College (Ohio) as a senior. He recorded 8.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. He recorded 58 tackles, along with three forced fumbles. He holds the school record for career tackles for a loss (43.5), sacks (26.0), and forced fumbles (5).
Why he will progress
Mathieu needs to be developed, and behind Miami’s top pass rushers (Cameron Wake, Andre Branch, Robert Quinn, Charles Harris, and William Hayes), there is space to develop. He is probably more of a run-stopping defensive end at this point, but good coaching can improve on some of his weaknesses.
Why he will regress
The speed of the NFL will be the first hurdle Mathieu has to leap. From there, he has to work to improve his hand placement and his ability to track quarterbacks. He has the body and athleticism to play the position, but he is definitely a project at this point in his career. Being 25, Mathieu is going to be trying to learn the NFL game at a time when most players are closing in on exactly what they will be as a professional.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
With the depth chart already likely locked in at defensive end, Mathieu will be fighting for a practice squad position. He probably has a good chance at making it there.