Recapping and talking about every 2016 Steelers Draft pick, from the First Round through the 7th round.
Lancaster High School
7th Round – 229th Overall
Finished his Houston career third on the program’s chart for career kickoff return yards with 1,613.
Named to The American’s first-team as a receiver and return specialists…started all 14 games, leading The American and finishing sixth in the nation with 98 catches for 1,222 receiving yards (18th-most)…his 98 catches were eight-best on the school’s single-season list and his 1,222 receiving yards were ninth-most…added 28 punt returns for 290 yards (10.4 average) and a touchdown…led all receiver with nine catches for 82 yards vs. Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and threw for a 20-yard touchdown pass…had a career-best 161 receiving yards on eight catches and one score in win vs. Navy…hauled in a career-high 13 catches for 127 receiving yards in win vs. Memphis…rushed for his first career touchdown and returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown, finishing with six catches for 93 yards in win at Tulane.
Saw action in all 13 games, making eight starts…tallied 33 catches for 335 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 34 kickoff returns for 592 yards…had two grabs for 29 yards and returned four kickoffs for 50 yards in the Armed Forces Bowl victory…caught 10 passes for 95 yards at Cincinnati…generated 90 receiving yards on seven catches to go along with three kickoff returns for 81 yards vs. UCF.
Served as the primary kick returner and started the final three games at receiver…earned The American Co-Special Teams Player of the Year honors, and was a first-team selection as a kick returner…led the conference (12th in the nation) with a 27.6 kickoff return average (37-1,021)…his 1,021 kickoff return yards set a program freshman record and were second-most in team history…posted 100 kickoff return yards or more in five games, and his 12 kickoff returns of 30 or more yards were second-most.
Generated 1,337 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 184 carries as a senior, along with six catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns, leading Lancaster High School to a state title game…threw for 1,823 yards and 22 touchdowns (10 interceptions) in senior campaign…named MVP of the 2012 IFAF U-19 World Championship, as he led Team USA with seven catches for 155 yards and a score in title game victory vs. American Samoa…totaled 445 rushing yards (44 carries) and five touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 364 yards and six scores as a junior…was the school’s starting point guard in basketball.
Son of Mark Ayers and Bernice Edwards.
St. Joseph’s High School
7th Round – 246th Overall
A four-year letter winner (2012, ’13, ’14, ’15) and the Temple program all-time leading tackler with 493 stops…became the first Temple defensive player to earn first-team All-America honors and the first Owl at any position since 1986 (Paul Palmer)…recipient of the Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nargurski Trophy, given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player in 2015.
The only player in FBS to lead his team in tackles in every game, eclipsing the 100-tackle plateau for the fourth season, just the seventh player in NCAA history to accomplish the feat…was only one of two players be a three-time captain in Temple history…had a career-high 3.0 sacks vs. Penn State…hauled in a personal-best two interceptions and was part of a senior class that defeated Cincinnati for the first time in four tries.
Served as a team captain, leading the American Athletic Conference with 88 solo tackles…tied a school record with 16 solo tackles vs. East Carolina.
Led the NCAA with 8.8 solo tackles per game, and his 11.4 total stops trailed one San Jose State’s Keith Smith (13.3)…had 10 or more stops in seven of 12 games, surpassing the 100-tackle mark in Week 8…his 137 tackles were seventh-most in Temple record books, setting a school and conference record with 24 stops at Idaho.
One of 14 true freshmen to see game action, and one of four to earn a starting role…played in every game, one of three freshman to do so…became the first freshman in program history to record 100 tackles, finishing second on the defense with 101 tackles (67 solo), three tackles for loss, three pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble…ranked fourth in the Big East in tackles (9.2 per game).
Played linebacker at Milford Academy for one year, earning 2011 All-State honors.
Attended St. Joseph’s High School…a 2011 All-State honoree at linebacker, helping the Cadets to a 10-2 record in his senior season while capturing back-to-back state championship titles…2010 Connecticut Post Male Athlete of the Year…set the school record for touchdowns in a game with five vs. Trumball as a junior…also played baseball, leading the team as a junior with a .372 batting average, 32 RBI and five homeruns.
Born on Dec. 22, 1992…son of Kim and David Matakevich…majored in adult and organizational development.