Could Chicago Bears draft this potential cornerback gem

Oct 23, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Damarri Mathis (21) returns the ball after an interception against the Clemson Tigers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Damarri Mathis (21) returns the ball after an interception against the Clemson Tigers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Chicago Bears are slated to bring in Damarri Mathis, a cornerback from Pitt, into Halas Hall for a pre-draft visit. The team only has 30-pre draft visits that they can use, so there is obvious interest here in some regard. What would Mathis bring, and when would the Chicago Bears consider him in the 2022 NFL draft?

Who is Damarri Mathis?

Damarri Mathis spent his first two seasons at Pitt as a reserve. He came onto the scene as a starter in his junior year but suffered a shoulder injury in 2020 that ended his season before it ever starter.

Mathis benefitted from the extra year of eligibility and had his best year yet in 2021, which put his name on the radar. Below are his career statistics.

Defense & Fumbles Table
TackTackTackTackDefDefDef
YearSchoolClassGSoloAstTotLossIntTDPD
2017PittFR32020.0001
*2018PittSO7135182.5101
*2019PittJR12194232.02011
2020PittSR
*2021PittSR123211430.0215
CareerPitt6620864.55118

The big highlight is the pass deflections. His Interceptions were not above average, but he was active in getting his hands near the football. He also recorded a touchdown last season on defense.

Thanks to Mock Draftable we can see how athletic Dammari Mathis. The bigger his athletic web is means the higher he tested in that area compared to players at his position in past years.

The obvious draw here is the 40-yard dash which was below 4.4 seconds. That, combined with his breakout fifth year has officially caught the interest of teams. Still, he also has the adequate arm length needed to press in the NFL and is about average in terms of height and weight.

Mathis did more at his pro day, posting a 43.5 vertical jump that wowed everyone. His 11’01” broad jump was also in the 98th percentile.

Where Damarri Mathis will succeed in the NFL

He obviously passes the test for having athleticism that translates. From his build, this is the player that you bet on to become a starting NFL corner. He has long arms, explosive burst, and has the long speed to top it off.

Mathis may be best in zone where he is able to keep things in front of him and read the quarterback. He excels in a quick jam, then reads the quarterback as he drops, and does a great job at finding the football. Mathis has plenty of breakups and is never afraid to attack in the run game. There is plenty of upside. On the downside, he is a physical tackler who has speed, which means special teams.

Questions with Damarri Mathis game

Mathis is already 23 years old as a fifth-year senior, which makes him older than your typical rookie. For that, his experience is not all that high. His 2019 tape was up and down, and he was beaten as often as he was playing the ball.

His instincts improved at times, but he can fall for quarterback fakes and can jump on double routes. For as much as he can take, he can give up the big play as well. There is a bit of projection to his game, and his upside is high, but the overall game is not ironed out.

NFL Comparison for Damarri Mathis

An athletic cornerback who was jumpy and grabby but could play the ball well was drafted just last season. He has a very similar athletic profile to Damarri Mathis as well. So, on the field and in testing the best NFL comparison for Damarri Mathis is Marco Wilson

"View post on imgur.com"

Marco Wilson started at Florida, but his up and downplay caused him to fall into the fourth round. Still, Wilson is already a gem for a round-four prospect. He started 13 games last season, and while there were some downs, there were enough ups that he looks like he can be an NFL starter.

That is what happens when you bet on the athletic profile. Mathis is expected to go in a similar area and could have a similar result in that you could find him making plays on defense as a rookie.

Should the Chicago Bears draft Damarri Mathis?

The Chicago Bears have plenty of needs, so they may have to delay a position. If they could find a cornerback with one of their day three picks it would be a smashing success. Could that be Damarri Mathis?

After his 2020 season, he was off of the draft radar altogether. His play pushed him into draft range, and his athletic testing has him firmly in the day three range. On average, he goes around pick 140, and Dane Brugler recently had him around pick 120.

5 prospects Bears should avoid. dark. Next

The Chicago Bears pick 148 and 150, so they may be hoping for a small fall. They also may be able to trade back earlier and pick up a pick in the 100s. Either way, on day three, these are the players you bet on. The potential on special teams helps the floor, and the athletic upside and ball skills are real to the point where he could get on the field as a rookie.