2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Nebraska EDGE Ochaun Mathis

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10-picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I will be profiling Nebraska Edge, Ochaun Mathis.

#32 Ochaun Mathis, EDGE, Nebraska (rSR) — 6046, 250 lbs.

East-West Shrine Bowl/Combine


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Ochaun Mathis 6’4 3/4”/250 10 3/4 35 1/4 84 3/4
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.74 1.64 4.38 N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
9’10” 33.5” 21

The Good

— Good size and very good length
— Good burst off the edge
— Long strides get him up field quickly
— Effective stab to power rush tackles
— Good ghost/dip move to the outside
— Capable of setting the edge and shedding blockers
— Solid backside chase
— Athleticism to spy, loop and Zone drop

The Bad

— Played out of position hurting production
— Didn’t attack as pass rusher early in the season
— Hand usage when rushing the passer largely ineffective
— Aggressiveness overall was underwhelming
— Processing of running plays
— Motor to chase plays is only adequate
— Doesn’t drive through the ball as tackler


— 2022: 48 tackles, 24 solo, 5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBU
— Career: 181 tackles, 98 solo, 31 TFL, 16 sacks, 6 PUB, 1 FR, 1 FF
— 50 games, 36 starts
— Transferred from TCU
— Second-team All-Big 12 (2020, 2021)
— Earned his degree in general studies from TCU and is taking graduate courses at Nebraska
— 3-star recruit out of high school
— Birthday 1/8/1999 (age 24)

Tape Breakdown

Ochaun Mathis played four years at TCU before transferring to Nebraska for his final season. He has good size and very good length with arms over 35 inches long. He was used in a 3-man front as the 4i technique but would also rush on his feet from the edge.

As a pass rusher, he has good snap quickness off the edge and uses long strides to get up field quickly. He has good athleticism and change of direction and shows some positives in his pass rush. With his hands, he will attempt chops and swipes to disrupt the blocker. There is a solid mix of success with power and speed rushes. Using a stab move, he has good hand placement and leverage to shorten the pocket. With speed, he has a nice dip/ghost rush with a lot of potential and solid closing speed to the quarterback. He also showed an outside spin and rip counter to the inside. Not often used in coverage I did see him zone drop to the flat area as well as mirror running backs on swing routes. He displayed the athleticism to spy quarterbacks, get his hands up in passing lanes, and be the looper on stunts.

This dip around the outside was his best move.

Here is another versus Michigan.

With his length, the stab is effective as well with good hand placement and leverage.

Against the run, he has good hand placement, solid pad level and play strength to set the edge versus tackles. The ability to shed blocks is there as well. From the backside, he is good at staying square to the line of scrimmage and scraping before providing solid chase from the backside. As a tackler, he is a solid wrap and drag tackler.

Here are a couple of plays versus Purdue where he engages and sheds the blocker to get in on the tackle.

In these clips he shows his agility by bending under a puller to make the tackle. On the second play he gets inside the tackle to chase down the runner.

When in a 4-point stance his snap quickness was just adequate and a tad behind teammates. Overall, his pass rush plan is adequate due to a lot of his rushes early in the season providing contain rather than trying to apply pressure. His hand usage when rushing the passer was largely ineffective missing with chops and swipes to get the blockers hands down. His overall aggressiveness was on the lower side. When processing plays, his play speed is a little slow putting him in a chase position versus the run. His motor is adequate and doesn’t show consistent chase of the ball down field. When tackling, he doesn’t drive through the ball.

Setting the edge and holding his ground have improved some but these are some examples where he didn’t hold up well.


Mathis is a long-limbed edge player with experience playing from the 4i through the 7 techniques. He has good snap quickness, gets up field quickly with long strides and has some success with stab, rip and ghost/dip pass rushes. With good athleticism, he can be used to spy, loop and drop into the short zone for coverage. He can set the edge and shed blocker as well as chase from the backside.

Areas to improve include continuing to develop his pass-rush plan and improve on his effectiveness with chop and swipes while rushing the passer. Processing run plays more efficiently, running through the ball as a tackler and keeping the motor running will help him in the run game.

Mathis is yet another college player asked to play inside when his best fit is on the edge. He has the athleticism, traits and length to be an effective defender against the run and pass. Adding some play strength and being more consistent with technique will go a long way. He is a developmental player who would fit best as an outside linebacker in an odd front and be a core special-teams player.

For my comp, I’ll go with Stephen Weatherly, who played at Vanderbilt. He too was a long-limbed developmental player with intriguing tools and who is bouncing around the NFL as a rotational defender.

Projection: Late Day Three

Depot Draft Grade:  6.2 End of Roster/Practice Squad (7th Round)

Games Watched: 2020 – vs Texas Tech; 2022 – At Purdue, At Michigan, vs Wisconsin, At Iowa

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