2023 NFL Draft

Syracuse OL Matthew Bergeron Grateful To Meet Mike Tomlin And Have His Family In Attendance

The first day of practices recently wrapped up at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and unlike last year, the media was allowed to take the field after practice to speak with the players. I saw Syracuse OT Matthew Bergeron standing off to the side with only a few people around him, so I went over to speak with him after practice and ask him a few questions.

I asked Bergeron if he had any contact with the Pittsburgh Steelers to which he responded that he expects to talk to members of the organization soon over the next few days. I also asked him about head coach Mike Tomlin who looked to be talking to Bergeron after a rep of the 1-on-1s.

“He just told me good job once,” Bergeron said about Tomlin. “I was grateful…grew up watching American football and he’s one of the greatest coaches ever. So, just him you know, noticing me, I was definitely grateful for that.”

It’s clear in his voice that Bergeron is relishing every moment out there on the practice field, having the opportunity to receive brief praise from Tomlin who he has watched coached the Steelers since he was a young child. Matthew Bergeron was born in Victoriaville, Quebec in Canada and was the No. 2 overall prospect from Canada back in 2019. He has started 33 games at LT and eight games at RT for the Orange during his time on campus, opting to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft after putting together a strong 2022 season.

While watching Bergeron and the rest of the American squad practice, I couldn’t help but notice a lad wearing Bergeron’s #60 jersey along with several other kids sporting his gear. This turned out to be Bergeron’s mother and siblings who were sitting next to us for most of the practice. I asked Bergeron about having his family come out from Canada to support him down in Mobile, to which he responded that it was the ultimate motivation for him to be able to look over toward the sideline and see his “why” after every rep during practice cheering him on.

“Oh, it was great,” Bergeron said. “And it’s not only that, but it just is also great having them get away from the snow, right? They just out here, man, down in Alabama, having fun and enjoying the weather. So, now I got the chance to have them right next to me. I mean, the process is the process but they’re having fun and my head coach {Dino Babers] came down and is out there. Just having everybody in my corner beside me just give me extra motivation… extra confidence, you know, because the talent we’re playing with right now…you’re going to have some bad plays, but you got to have that mentality of always getting back up and those people right there are going to hold me to that.”

Overall, Bergeron had a great day of practice Tuesday. He was strong in run blocking drills and represented himself well in 1-on-1s against the defensive line. Obviously, Bergeron is playing for his future career as a professional football player, but he also has his support system alongside him during the biggest interview of his life. You could see his family cheer him on from the sidelines and Bergeron occasionally look over to see his mom, siblings, and head coach using that as fuel to show out on every single rep. After practice concluded, Bergeron immediately ran to the sideline to give his mother a big hug and greet his former coach and the rest of his siblings.

I concluded my conversation with Bergeron asking him if he was planning on getting some work inside at guard during the pre-draft process after receiving all his reps at LT Tuesday afternoon. Bergeron confirmed by thoughts, stating he wants to show teams his versatility playing both inside and outside to fit whatever role is asked of him.

“No doubt,” Bergeron responded. “I’m going to get some guard reps in the next few days. Just know today was more of just getting comfortable with the playbook and comfortable in an environment. So, you know, we’re definitely going fast but you know, no doubt I’m going to get some guard reps in there. Especially the 1-on-1s just so people know that I’m versatile and I can do both.”

Several draft analysts have projected Bergeron to move inside at the next level thanks to his prowess as a run blocker, moving guys off their spot on the LOS. He has the size and length (6047, 323lb) to play at tackle at the next level, but some inconsistencies in pass protection have led some to suggest he could kick inside. Bergeron showed to today at least that he can hold his own at tackle in the league but doesn’t mind showing teams he can move inside if that where he would be a better fit in their respective systems.

Versatility is highly valued amongst offensive linemen, and should Bergeron prove to be T/G capable despite not playing any games inside in college, he could make his case to move up teams’ draft boards. I have watched some of Matthew Bergeron during the season, but now am excited to watch more of him at both tackle and guard the next few days and dive into his tape more soon after the Senior Bowl. He has a great head on his shoulders and is a humble, yet confident young man that is looking to make his family proud.

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