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Miami added another wide receiver in the draft with the selection of Coastal Carolina WR Matt Hazel.  Hazel has adequate size at 6'1, 198 lbs and nice speed, as he clocked a 4.47 40 at the combine.  Polished player that runs solid routes, flexible and balanced with the body control to make smooth adjustments on erratic throws. Proper patience and decisiveness in his routes to deceive defenders and create room to work. Sinks his hips and drives out of his breaks with natural footwork. Stays light on his feet as a ballcarrier and in his patterns. Works hard after the catch and won't concede yards.  Has lined up inside and outside and has run the full route tree.  Concerns are that he lacks ideal size and bulk and can be overpowered as a blocker.  Good, not elite speed to seperate.  That said, his skill set translates well into the NFL.

 

 

Matt Hazel Highlights

 

Round 6, Pick 14
Matt Hazel, WR
Coastal Carolina | Senior
Hometown: North Augusta, SC
6-1 / 198 lbs.

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

WHAT HE BRINGS
Hazel has above-average size and strength. He isn't a burner but runs quality routes, has reliable hands and has sneaky run-after-catch ability. Hazel has a chance to be a steal.

OVERALL FOOTBALL TRAITS

Production 3
2010: (11/3)  20-276-13.8-5 2011: (11/9)  32-488-15.3-62012: (13/13)  61-799-13.1-8 2013: (14/14)  70-990-14.1-9

Height-Weight-Speed 3
Average height, adequate bulk and good top-end speed. Average hand size (9 1/8') and adequate arm length (31 3/8').

Durability 3
Missed Senior Bowl with tight hamstring. Slowed by injuries in 2011. Missed 2010 season opener with illness.

Intangibles 2
Majored in sociology and graduated. Religious. Credits father for work ethic. Credits teammates for success.

1 = ExceptionaL | 2 = Above average | 3 = Average | 4 = Below average | 5 = Marginal

WIDE RECEIVER SPECIFIC TRAITS

Separation Skills 3
Above average release. Uses upper body fakes and changes tempo to set up breaks. Adequate burst and footwork needs to be crisper at top of stem. Rounds off and telegraphs outs and ins. Lean and can get muscled out of routes. Locates pockets in zone looks.

Ball Skills 2
Had one pass pop off hands during four-game evaluation and doesn't always field the ball cleanly but natural pass catcher that extends and snatches. Tracks ball well. Opens and adjusts to back shoulder passes. Can absorb contact and hold on. Wins contested jump balls. 36.5 inch vertical and times jumps well.

Big play ability 3
Fast enough to get downfield and compete for 50-50 balls. Sells double moves but doesn't have the second gear to run by NFL corners when they don't bite. Flashes ability to make first defender miss and good quickness after catch. Doesn't show breakaway speed.

Competitiveness 3
Doesn't take eyes off ball or slow down to locate defenders over middle. Can go to ground to avoid big hit but overall effort is good after catch. Adequate effort, positioning and strength as a blocker. Questionable effort when has to turn into defender.

1 = Exceptional | 2 = Above average | 3 = Average | 4 = Below average | 5 = Marginal

 
NFL DRAFT SCOUT

NFL DRAFT SCOUT DRAFT ANALYSIS **

STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES

STRENGTHS:
Adequate body type with room to get stronger. Not a burner, but shows good acceleration and long strides to build up speed in his routes. Very good focus and hand/eye coordination to catch everything in his area with his hands.

Flexible and balanced with the body control to make smooth adjustments on erratic throws. Proper patience and decisiveness in his routes to deceive defenders and create room to work. Sinks his hips and drives out of his breaks with natural footwork. Stays light on his feet as a ballcarrier and in his patterns. Works hard after the catch and won't concede yards.

Experience lining up inside and outside, running a full route tree in college. Level-headed and works hard to improve. Durable with 39 career starts on his resume. Improved production each season and broke many of Jerome Simpson's school records, including single-season catches (70) and career catches (183).

WEAKNESSES:
Lacks ideal bulk and strength for the position and is too easily out-muscled and pushed around. Overmatched as a blocker and plays too light and passive in this area. Needs to do a better job in traffic and use his body more assertively.

Lacks dynamic burst to consistently separate and won't fool anyone with his moves after the catch. Limited vertical threat. Room to improve his footwork and awareness along the sideline. Will round off some routes and needs to continue and progress in this area. Didn't face top-flight competition each week at the FCS level.

--Dane Brugler

PLAYER OVERVIEW

A little-known two-star high school recruit, Hazel received some attention from FBS-level programs, including a scholarship offer from Georgia, but not until after he signed with Coastal Carolina.

Hazel showed steady progression each season and quickly established himself as the team's top target, improving his stats and starts each year. He finished his career at or near the top of almost every school receiving record and was a big reason Coastal Carolina advanced to the FCS playoffs three of his four seasons on campus.

Hazel isn't sudden or explosive and lacks the speed to be a consistent deep threat, but he is decisive and polished in his routes - very seasoned for a FCS prospect. He is a determined, natural hands-catcher who is dependable when the ball is in his area, but he needs to spend considerable time in the weight room.

Too much finesse to his game, but his reliability catching the ball gives him a chance in the NFL, likely as an underneath possession target.

 

 

 

NFL.COM ANALYSIS **

OVERVIEW

Prepped in South Carolina. As a true freshman in 2010, played 11 games (three starts) and caught 20 balls for 276 yards (13.8-yard average) and five touchdowns. Missed the season opener against West Virginia (illness). Started 9 of 11 games in 2011, with 32 catches for 488 yards (15.3-yard average) and six touchdowns. Started all 13 games in 2012 and posted 61 catches for 799 yards (13.1-yard average) and eight touchdowns. Started all 14 games in 2013 and produced 70 catches for 990 yards (14.1-yard average) and nine touchdowns. Hurt his shoulder against Hampton and did not play against Elon. Led the Chanticleers in receiving his final three seasons. Owns CCU career and single-season receptions records. Was the third player in school history to participate in the East-West Shrine Game, joining Jerome Simpson (Vikings) and Josh Norman (Panthers).


ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS
Good functional football-playing speed. Accelerates off the line and can create separation. Tracks the deep ball well, contorts his body in the air and can make difficult catches look easy. Can create after the catch and make the first defender miss on bubble screens out of the slot. Willing blocker -- displays surprising toughness for his size to mix it up with linebackers. Fared well vs. better competiition (see South Carolina). Comes from a very supportive family and has strong personal and football character. The game is very important to him.

WEAKNESSES
Not physically strong with a lean body build, small hands and short arms. Can be knocked off routes by tight press coverage. Average strength and elusiveness after the catch. Looks for a landing spot before contact (hears footsteps). Alligator arms appear in traffic and bodies the ball along the sideline. Shows some tightness in his body coming out of breaks and routes could use more refinement.

DRAFT PROJECTION
Round 7-Priority free agent

BOTTOM LINE
A smooth, fluid, athletic small-school receiver with the hands, body control and concentration to earn a roster spot and develop into a solid contributor.

-Nolan Nawrocki

 

 

 

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