Strengths: Mathis can fly, as he proved at the combine when he ran a sub-4.3 40. He has an impressive combination of speed and quickness, and both beats defenders deep and picks up big chunks of yards after the catch on short passes. Mathis never averaged less than 24 yards per catch in any college season. His great wheels also make him a threat on end-around runs and reverses.
Mathis is a difference-maker on special teams. He served as Hampton’s primary kickoff returner and also returned punts on occasion. Mathis returned a total of six kickoffs for touchdowns (an NCAA record), with four of those coming in his senior season (a I-AA record).
He is a reputation as a fierce competitor who plays with an attitude. Although he’s not the biggest player on the field, Mathis is a willing blocker.
Areas of Concern: Mathis is undersized by NFL standards, and will have to adjust to the jump in competition from the I-AA college level to the pros. He doesn’t have great hands, often trying to trap the ball against his body instead of snatching it with his mitts, and will lose concentration at times resulting in some drops. Mathis is rough around the edges from a technique standpoint, and needs to run sharper routes.
Mathis has had some off-the-field issues: he was twice charged with assault and as a result spent seven days in jail in 2003.
2005 Expectations: Since the Texans are looking for a receiver to stretch the filed opposite Andre Johnson, Mathis should be in the mix for that position. The amount of time it takes him to make the transition from the small college ranks to the NFL will be a significant factor in how much he contributes to the offense as a rookie. He should compete for the kick return jobs immediately, and may also be able to serve as a gunner on the kicks coverage teams.
by Warren DeLuca
YEAR G CTH YDS AVG TD 2004 12 29 864 29.8 9 2003 11 40 977 24.4 9 2002 12 24 615 25.6 3 TOTALS 35 93 2,456 26.4 21 KICK NUM YDS AVG TD LNG 2004 25 888 35.5 5 99 2003 17 343 20.2 0 44 2002 20 417 20.9 1 79 TOTALS 62 1,648 26.6 6 99 Jerome Mathis Home