NFL Draft News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

PFF scouting report: Matthew Dayes, RB, NC State

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Dajaun Drennon #17 of the North Carolina Tar Heels tackles Matthew Dayes #21 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Kenan Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Name: Matthew Dayes

School: NC State

Position fit: Running back

Stats to know: Tied for 17th-most missed tackles forced on rush attempts in 2016 out of draft-eligible running backs.

What he does best:

  • Good vision and patient as a zone runner who will make the correct reads and cuts to maximize what his blocking provides.
  • Quick acceleration and in and out of cuts, which help him succeed in small spaces.
  • Shows the ability to string together moves.
  • Effective receiver out of the backfield. Can also line up some in the slot.

Biggest concerns:

  • Lacks great top-end speed that prevents him from outrunning everyone on big runs for touchdowns.
  • Doesn’t gain much yardage after contact, despite high effort.
  • Size alone isn’t an issue, but when coupled with the first two points and lacking any elite qualities, it is another thing that hampers his potential.
  • Likely limited to a running a zone-blocking scheme.

Bottom line: Dayes is on the start of smaller end of the spectrum for running back size and is noticeably quicker than fast. He fits best in a zone-blocking scheme to make the most of his vision and change of direction strengths. He keeps his legs churning upon impact but it doesn’t necessarily translate to more yardage unless he has a full head of steam first. Dayes has good hands and has been productive as a receiver, particularly on screens to get him into space. He has shown improvement in pass protection over the past three years, but still has some work to do to maximize potential playing time as a receiving or third-down back. He will likely find a home as a backup who will can an impact as a receiver out of the backfield and spell some carries.

Subscribe to PFF+ to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

NFL Draft Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NCAA player performance data.

    Available with


Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS.

$9.99 / mo
$79.99 / yr