Lions Land Steal In Matua In Final Round

With their second-to-last pick, the Detroit Lions may have nabbed the steal of the seventh round in USC offensive guard Fred Matua.

Full Name: Fred Matua School: USC Pos: G

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 306 40: Year: 4Jr

Bio: Three-year starter at right guard. All-Conference selection as a junior.

Pos: Explosive run-blocking lineman who is best in a small area. Quick off the snap, jolts opponents at the point then turns them off the line. Plays with a nasty disposition. Always looking for someone to hit and works well with teammates.

Neg: Lacks footwork in space, does not block with balance and cannot redirect to linebackers on the second level.

Analysis: An arm wrestler who opens holes for the running game, Matua is a solid second-day pick who will flourish in a power running offense.

How he fits in with Detroit: If you draft a player that was projected to go in the third or fourth round with the 217th overall pick, you have yourself a legitimate steal -- regardless of how he progresses from that point.

The Lions plucked their offensive tackle in fifth-rounder Jonathan Scott, but the need for a guard was also prevalent, and Matua is a Godsend in the seventh. An aggressive athlete that admittedly plays the game with a "mean streak", Matua forfeited his final year of eligibility to enter the draft. Why his stock slid isn't quite known, but expert analysts don't typically laud any players drafted in the final two rounds.

"For a guy over 300 pounds to run a 40-yard dash in a theoretical time under five seconds, he made himself a lot of money and will shoot up draft boards," said NFL draft guru Gil Brandt on Matua.

Matua will battle for a roster slot with veterans such as newcomer Rex Tucker, including any additional undrafted free-agents brought in prior to camp, but if he can perform at the level many pegged him at leaving the prestigious Trojans, he might end up becoming the S.O.D. (Steal of the Draft).

Below are two exclusive, pre-draft interviews conducted with Matua from our friends at, part of the Network:

- Hot Prospect Q&A: Fred Matua
- Fred Matua: "This Ain't No Walk in the Park"

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