The Washington Commanders got a new anchor for their defensive front by picking Alabama nose man Phidarian Mathis. Mathis quietly dominated in the middle for Alabama this past season, putting up an impressive 8 sacks from the nose while stuffing the run with aplomb. Mathis is the rare beast in the modern game who can play effectively on three downs at 6’4”, 310 lbs. He will now fit into a rotation featuring former Alabama standouts Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne.
If there is a knock on Mathis, it’s that he is pretty much typecast as a prototypical nose man. He fills gaps, is exceptionally strong, and pushes the pocket, but you won’t find him rushing from a two point stance. What he does, he does very well, and there is still plenty of value in a player who can control the A gaps.
This is a safe pick as you pretty well know what you are getting with Mathis. He is going to be a solid starter on the defensive line for many years.