Former USC defensive end Cliff Matthews was drafted Saturday by the Atlanta Falcons.
Matthews was chosen in the seventh round. He was projected as a fourth- or fifth-rounder.
"He's a little undersized at that defensive end position," NFL draft analyst Mike Detillier said. "I thought he might have one of those breakout type seasons. He's a good edge pass rusher, big wingspan. What he lacks is he's not a power player. He lacks power in the lower body. As a 4-3 defensive end, I think he's got a shot."
In the past four years for the Gamecocks, Matthews started 47 games, amassing 149 tackles, 15.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss.
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The Gamecocks moved Matthews from outside linebacker to end before the start of his sophomore season in 2008. After a seven-sack season as a junior, Matthews overcame shoulder surgery to finish his senior year with 5 1/2 sacks.
Matthews will compete with Jamaal Anderson and Lawrence Sidbury for snaps behind starting ends John Abraham and Kroy Biermann.
Chris Culliver was drafted Friday in the third round by the San Francisco 49ers.
No other Gamecocks were selected in this year's draft.