You know, I'm not even sure we *needed* a "Matt Franklin." He was essentially "red-shirted", I guess, to show how dangerous and risky Scotty's messing with the transporter was? But the character is all but forgotten, save for one line a minute or two later, as soon as we learn his pattern degraded in the buffer. Seems to me a better explanation or hand-waving could have been used to explain why the transporter diagnostic cycle was risky and not something that could be done again. Hell, say it worked because of the massive gravity field of the Dyson Sphere or something.
It's just kind of, straining, a bit that of the two patterns locked in the buffer the one that didn't make it just happened to be that of someone who didn't mean anything to us. TNG didn't use the "Ensign Ricky" trope very often (it did have its fair-share of "yellow-shirts" but it was hardly a case where an away team of main cast members and two unknowns would beam into the dangerous situation every week like in TOS) this is one of those cases where it did and, oy, it just doesn't work.