Matt Sokol was born in Rochester, Michigan and got to live out his dream of playing for a home state school in Michigan State.
After posting zero statistics during his first season in East Lansing, Sokol went on to post three-year totals (2016-2018) of 31 career catches for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the lack of production, Sokol earned an invite to the Shrine Game following his senior season.
#Chargers UDFA Matt Sokol (#81) offers excellent size at 6-6 260lbs.— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) May 13, 2019
He caught just 31 balls and 2 TDs while at MSU but still earned an invite to the @Shrine_Game.
As of now, I believe his only shot of making the roster is as a 4th TE who helps bolster the running attack. pic.twitter.com/cJQnXdHqKh
Sokol went undrafted in 2019 and wound up signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent. After being waived during the team’s final roster cuts, he was signed the practice squad on two separate occasions before being released by the team for the last time in October of that year. Later that season, Sokol was signed and released by the Jaguars before landing with the Lions. He stuck around in Detroit for most of the following year before on October 24, 2020.
Sokol re-signed with the Bolts a week later and got his first stint on the active roster during the team’s week 16 victory over the Broncos. Following the 2020 campaign, he signed a reserve/future deal.
College: Michigan State
Years with team: 1
“Matt Sokol signed a 1 year, $675,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $675,000. In 2021, Sokol will earn a base salary of $660,000, while carrying a cap hit of $660,000.” - Spotrac.com
Sokol was mainly utilized as a run-blocker for the Spartans and their run-first offense. He was able to utilize his massive frame mainly won on outside zone concepts and end-arounds where he could lead block out in space.
Sokol’s lack of receiving production at the collegiate level is understandably going to be a red flag, especially when it’s coupled with his lack of overall athleticism. If he was a notable athlete on top of underwhelming production, at least we could say there’s some potential within him but that’s just not the case. You can check out his relative athletic score (RAS) below.
With the way the offensive landscape has changed in the NFL over the past decade, the ability to win through the air as a tight end is as important as ever to sticking around.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Sokol has the unfortunate challenge of standing out in a position group that already has three player who all should see the field in some capacity during the 2021 season. He came out of Michigan State as a blocking-specialist and maybe that’s what keeps him around since Cook, Parham, and Anderson are all pass-catching tight ends at heart. I predict Sokol will land on the PS for another year after impressing over 2021 UDFA Hunter Kampmoyer.