Tennessee already has a strong defense, but bringing in a defensive-minded head coach in Mike Vrabel may amplify the Titans’ decision to go defensive-heavy with this draft. A guy that could be available for them at No. 57 is Washington State Cougars edge player Hercules Mata’afa.
Mata’afa is a Hawaiian native and played three years of college ball in Pullman for the Cougars in the Pac-12. He registered 121 total tackles (83 solo, 38 assists), 45.5 for a loss of yardage, 21.0 quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Clearly, the guy could generate pressure playing at Wazzu.
At the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Mata’afa came in at 6-foot-1, 254 pounds. He will likely have to play at outside linebacker at the next level, on account of being undersized. Mata’afa ran a 4.76 40-yard dash and had 26 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Though Mata’afa didn’t overly impress at the combine, the guy was a playmaker in the Pac-12 for head coach Mike Leach. Some might pass over Mata’afa in the second round, but he should be ripe for the picking at the tail-end of round two for a team like the Titans, who are looking to get more explosive defensively.