Draft Prospect Outlook:
NFL-safety size with typically consistent demonstrations of cornerback-like agility, especially when striking downhill on crossing routes. Deep range is lacking. As is long speed and high-level production. Adequate mid-round safety.
Tray Matthews began his career at Georgia, where he started six games as a freshman and was part of the memorable "Prayer at Jordan-Hare" pass against Auburn in which a tipped pass led to the go-ahead touchdown and victory for the Tigers. Less than a year later, he transferred to Auburn, took some ribbing from his new teammates about the tipped pass, sat out a season and became an All-SEC star at safety. He finished his career with five interceptions and rarely allowed a big pass go over his head during his days at Auburn. He battled a shoulder injury in 2015 and nagging hamstring issues throughout his career, but he still managed to lead the team with 76 tackles.
A rangy safety who can lay a big lick, Matthews is great playing assignments and rarely blows coverages. He didn't pick off many passes in his career, but he was consistent and considered a strength throughout his career on the back end of Auburn's defense -- which improved to a top-10 unit as he garnered All-SEC nods during his final two seasons with the Tigers. -- Brandon Marcello