Runs with amazing balance and low center of gravity
Doesn't dance in backfield - hits hole with authority
Good straight line speed when given room
Great vision - sees open lanes
Smart and knows how to read linebackers
Punishing stiff arm
Can handle 20-plus carries per game
Strictly a two-down back
Hands of stone - very inconsistent catching the ball
Misses blocking assignments
Not nearly as athletic in games as measureables suggest
Doesn't break many tackles
Lacks elusiveness to make defenders miss in open field
Had an extremely good offensive line against inferior competition
Summary: The hype of Ryan Mathews surrounds two things: junior year production and his triangle numbers (height, weight, 40 time). Once you put on the tape, you just don't see a very charismatic runner with very good athleticism. He can't play on third down and this really hurts his value in my opinion. His offensive line absolutely destroyed opponents making Mathews look much better than he is - he picked up big stats and every back looks good when nobody touches you and there are wide running lanes. Mathews will be the second or third back chosen and has a very good chance of going in the first round - maybe as high as No. 20 to Houston.
Player Comparison: Laurence Maroney. Maroney can't play on third down and has been inconsistent in the league despite great production in college.