Draft Prospect Outlook:
On paper, he played out of position at Washington State yet was one of the most disruptive interior defensive linemen in the country. Incredible first-step and fits through tight spaces to get into the backfield. Occasional arm-over move but mainly wins on athleticism alone. Likely can't play defensive tackle at NFL level.
A 247Sports Composite three-star recruit out of Lahaini, Hawaii, Mata'afa recorded 32 tackles (11 for loss) with seven sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2015. He improved his tackle total to 47 as a sophomore, with 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He racked up 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack in a win over Oregon, then totaled 13 tackles (2.5 for loss) with a sack in his next two games against Stanford and UCLA, both wins.
Mata'afa grew as a pass-rusher in 2017, tallying 10.5 sacks on the season and 22.5 tackles for loss, exactly half of his 45-tackle total. He opened the year with five straight games that had multiple tackles for loss, with 2.5 sacks against Nevada and two sacks at Cal. His biggest performance came in a win at Utah: eight solo tackle, five tackles for loss and three sacks, along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Mata'afa capped his collegiate career with a sack against Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. -- R.J. White