Matthias Farley, a former Notre Dame safety, announced that he will be joining the Arizona Cardinals after not being picked in the 2016 NFL Draft.
I flat out love Farley.
There will be some who will look at his size and 5’11 and 205 pounds and conclude that was an obstacle to be drafted. Others will point out his somewhat uneven career at Notre Dame as a reason he did not get drafted. Farley currently is ranked the 25th overall strong safety out of 193 and has a stock that appears to be on the rise. So what is it that got Arizona’s attention?
For starters, Farley had a monster pro day at Notre Dame. His 40 time (4.45) and repetitions on the 225 lb. bench press (21) would have placed him second overall among safeties at the NFL combine. (He was not invited.) These numbers alone indicate that Farley has the raw ability to perform at the next level.
The Pro Day numbers alone made Farley an attractive undrafted free agent. What separates him, in my mind, is his production, intangibles, and ability to perform on special teams.
Farley played in 52 games during his Notre Dame career while making 26 starts on defense. During his time in South Bend, he had close to 200 tackles and 8 interceptions. He also had 9.5 tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks. No matter what position Farley was called on to play he was productive.
In an era where top coaches like Belichick are questioning the value of the combine, Farley combines solid pro day numbers with solid production on the playing field. Another area that makes Farley attractive his the leadership and selflessness he will bring to an NFL locker room. Matthias Farley is a team guy. Although his playing time diminished during his time in South Bend his impact on the Irish and his work ethic apparently did not. Farley’s teammates thought so much of him prior to the 2015 campaign that he was chosen as a Captain despite making only three starts on the season, the fewest of his career.
Finally, often the linchpin for a late round draft pick or undrafted free agent to make a roster is special teams play. Farley played on every special team during his final season at Notre Dame and was named the Special Teams Player of the Year for his efforts.
I can't wait to get to the Desert! pic.twitter.com/TqICPaIfQ7
— Matthias Farley (@mfarley41) April 30, 2016