No. 89, House of CB Damarie Matisse

The Countdown to the Unpacking Future Packers is a countdown to 100 possibilities that may be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Kevin King is as good as it goes. Will Douglas’ messenger get a new deal to bring him back to Green Bay? Or has he pulled himself out of Green Bay’s price range by playing this last season? Will Chandon Sullivan get a new deal?

The Green Bay Packers have two closed backs for next season with Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes.

What the depth chart behind this duo will look like when next season begins is a question mark.

Expect Brian Gutekunst to use a pick or two in a back corner position in the 2022 NFL Draft. The player Gutekunst could target in the third round or as early as Day Three is Pittsburgh cornerback Damary Mattis. Panther Cornerback scores 89 in the countdown to the Unpacking Future Packers.

As a freshman in 2017, Matisse played primarily on Pete’s private team units. In 2018, Mattis scored 2.5 tackles for a loss and scored one tackle.

Mattis enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 when he scored two losing steps, two interceptions and 13 passing deviations. According to Pro Football Focus, Matisse allowed for the third lowest catch rate among the Power Five Cornerbacks.

“That year, he allowed the third lowest catch rate (36.8%) among the Power Five corners while making 10 combined pass breaks and interceptions. He tended to get very aggressive, though, and was signed to eight penalties a year.”

Matisse missed the 2020 season with a shoulder injury. Last season, Matisse scored 45 tackles, interceptions and six passing deflections.

“I think the increase in interceptions and passes being defended is kind of a good news/bad news situation for Mathis,” said Alan Saunders, Pittsburgh Sports Now reporter. “Those stats look good, but he’s also been targeted a lot, and that’s not really what you want to see.

I would say it’s been a good season after coming out of injury but based on his career path before injury, maybe it’s a little disappointing.”

The first thing that distinguishes Mathis is that he is a very physical athlete. He plays oversized (5-11, 195). He has looseness and fluid in his back. Mathis has good footwork to stay in the spacious receiver pocket.

“Perhaps his greatest strength is his style of reporting,” Saunders said. “Pete plays it by the ton and he has done it against all kinds of receivers. He is very physical for his size.”

Matisse may be undersized, but faces wide receivers at the pickup point. It shows good pattern recognition and is able to jump on roads. He has a natural hand and has had good ball production for Pete, scoring four interceptions and 19 passing deflections over the past two seasons.

“He also has a good ability to find the ball and do velocities while the ball is in the air,” Saunders said. “He doesn’t have straight track speed, but he has good closing technique.”

Matisse is a chibi in support of running. Fly down with bad intentions. At least once in the game, there is a play of Mathis flying down the slopes to get into a running support or on the bubble screen. He is a reliable open field player who rarely gives up yards after hunting.

“It’s very aggressive in the face of both theatrical and slow-motion performances like screens and aircraft scans,” Saunders said. “He might miss an intrusion or two that’s going to deliver a big hit, but he’s definitely not afraid to get his nose stuck in there.”

Fit the packages

Matisse mainly played on the frontier during his time at Pete. However, he has short zone blasts, instincts, and toughness to play into the next level slot.

“I think Mattis’ experience will be what sells him to the teams,” Saunders said. “He wouldn’t have measurable things jumping off the page. But he played a lot, and in defense he proved capable of sending players like Dane Jackson, Damar Hamlin and Jason Pinnock into the league from a very similar starting point.

It might also be a little undervalued because I think his best thing in the NFL is to play a dime slot, and he’s played exclusively at Pitt Pitt, so there are some projections to be made there.”

No team can have enough talented players. Mattis will bring a physical presence to Green Bay High School. He has the toughness, covering ability and ball skills to be a consistent contributor during the junior season.

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