NFL Draft Profile: Matt Breida, Georgia Southern

Program: Georgia Southern Eagles

Position: Running back

Height/Weight: 5’9″/ 195

Accolades:

  • 2015 All-Sun Belt 1st Team Offense
  • 2014 All-Sun Belt 1st Team Offense
  • Sun Belt 2014 Offensive Player of the Year (CollegeSportsMadness.com)
  • 2014 Doak Award Semi-Finalist, 3,740 yards rushing (3 seasons)

Buzz has followed Matt Breida throughout his stellar Sun Belt career, where he electrified the gridiron for two spectacular seasons before slumping dramatically with the rest of the Eagles in 2016. Before last season, Breida turned in Heisman-like performances the likes of which the Sun Belt had rarely seen.

Rushing Avg Rushing TDs
2014 1,485 8.7 17
2015 1,609 7.9 17
2016 646 3.8 3

 

From 2014 through 2015, in which Georgia Southern went 18-7 with a GoDaddy win over Bowling Green, Breida was the Eagles offense. Just look at those average per carry numbers!

Explaining Breida’s sudden drop in production can’t be defended by injury (he played in all 12 games for the Eagles in 2016), but head coach Willie Fritz did bolt the program for Tulane after 2015, leaving the team in the hands of first time head coach Tyson Summers. The Eagles perturbing “triple option” offense was simply not as potent under Summers, and it didn’t help that both of the team’s QBs battled injuries all season long.

Why NFL GMs would be totally insane to skip past Matt Breida

Though Breida’s 2016 season was disappointing, the chatter on the former Doak Award semi-finalist remains strong, especially after the Eagles’ pro day.

That 40 time is insane, and the rest of the stats seem to indicate that the NFL made a grave mistake leaving Breida off the Combine list. At 5’9″ and nearly 200lbs, Breida has the build to make an NFL roster. And he doesn’t shy from the spotlight. Breida turned in exactly one 100 yard performance in 2016 (after logging 14 the previous two seasons). But it was against Ole Miss, where Breida suddenly returned to form with 100 yards and a TD.

Okay, give us the negative on Matt Breida

What the hell happened in 2016? Apart from the opening match-up with Savannah State where he averaged 6.8 yards per carry, Breida averaged 4 yards or better in only 6 games. We know that Summers was experiencing growing pains as head coach, and yes QBs Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw were limited by injuries. But losing 1,000 yards between seasons without reporting any significant injury is pretty tough. So let’s focus on this 2014-15 highlight video instead:

Where will we see Matt Breida at this year’s NFL Draft?

For a guy ranked the 36th best RB in the 2017 Draft (CBS Sports), Matt Breida is getting some significant buzz among scouts and pundits. The big pro day helped his stock, but is it enough to overcome that miserable 2016 season? If Breida is missed on Day 3, he’s almost guaranteed to earn a UDFA sheet.

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