Grading Out: Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews

OT Luke Joeckel is called the best OT in the country for a reason (Photo: US Presswire)

After going through and breakind down all 25 prospects in this past weekend’s Texas A&M v. Florida game, I re-read the piece. I think re-read it for a third time and I was never quite satisfied that I got across to you just how good or dominant Joeckel and Matthews were in that game. So I decided to take my evaluation as step further and break down every play of the first two drives for both player and grade them out.

Now you may ask why only the first two drives and its because if I did much more then this piece would get very long and very repetitive. As I did with my piece on grading Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston I used a similar and very simplistic scale;
+2 mean you had a good block, good technique, and not beaten at all
+1 means you had a solid block but failed to finish the block or maintain it through the whole play
0 means you were beaten on the play
-1 means you drew a penalty

We evaluated Joeckel for 27 plays and Matthews for 26, somewhere we missed a Matthews play and couldn’t figure out where. Here are our results and final grades:

Luke Joeckel
1-ESPN is slow to return to action and the play is already in progress. Grade: N/A
2-Joeckel performs a cut block on the DE that puts him on the ground. Grade: +2
3-QB draw call, Joeckel allows DE to get up field by design and then seals him off as the QB heads back up field. Grade: +2
4-Started early but gets away with it, allows him to stay in front of McCray easily. Grade: +2
5-Seals off running lane on McCray, RB runs through the lane for a good gain. Grade: +2
6-Again is the first off the line but is a bit off balance gets shove back nearly into the QB. Grade: +1
7-McCray tries a power rush move but Joeckel puts him on the ground. Grade: +2
8-Jumbo set, lines up outside Matthews on the right side. Gets to 2nd level and makes a strong block on Bostic. Grade: +2
9-Still Jumbo set, Zone Blocking call and he has nobody to block. Grade: N/A
10-Down block on DT with LG. Grade: +2
11-Blocks two men at one time, had one arm on each of the pass rushers (DE and OLB). Grade: +2
12-Down block on DT, and then kicks out to 2nd level. Grade: +2
13-No block. Grade: N/A
14-Stonewalls McCray on bull rush. Grade: +2
—End of 1st Drive—
15-2nd level block on Bostic, locks on and prevents Bostic from disengaging. Grade: +2
16-Idnetifies a 5 man front and slides outside off the snap, blocks outside rusher with ease. Grade: +2
17-Takes on speed rush by DE, doesn’t move his feet well enough and DE gets around him in the end. Grade: +1
18-DE tries to use a stutter step fake, Joeckel delivers a punch and then engages in the block. Grade: +2
19-Takes on Shariff Floyd and easily moves him off the line and to the side. Grade: +2
20-Locks out his arm and moves the DE down line and away from the play. Grade: +2
21-Gets to the 2nd level and engages LB block. Grade: +2
22-Another Zone Blocking Scheme, no block. Grade: N/A
23-Performs a cut block on Floyd and gets him to the ground. Grade: +2
24-Blocks a LB 15 yards down the field. Grade: +2
25-Sees a SAF blitz coming and gets out fast enough to cut off the blitz. Grade: +2
26-Jumbo set, Get out in front of screen pass but can’t beat SAF Josh Evans to a spot and misses the block. Grade: 0
27-Gets confused by Florida defensive alignment and gets caught leaning but does recover to get a piece of the DE. Grade: +1
—End of 2nd Drive—
Overall Blocking Grade Average: 1.78

Jake Matthews:
1- ESPN is slow to return to action and the play is already in progress. Grade: N/A
2- Performs a cut block but defender keeps his feet. Grade: +1
3- Locks out his arms on DE Dominique Easley on QB draw. Grade: +2
4- Goes to 2nd level and makes contact with Bostic but cannot maintain the block. Grade: +1
5- Completely stonewalls Easley. Grade: +2
6- Sees wide split by DL, steps into the gap and walls off Easley from ever getting near the RB. Grade: +2
7- Allows Easley to get aggressive and hit the B gap, this puts him off balance and Matthews then blocks him to the ground. Grade: +2
8- Blocks for a play-action pass, Easley actually beats him to the inside but Matthews ends up putting him on the ground. Grade: +1
9- Gets initial block on Easley but with screen pass to his side he needs to either not disengage his block on Easley or he needs to get down in front of the screen to help block. Grade: +1
10- Waits on late blitzer and stops him dead in his tracks. Grade: +2
11- Sees McCray coming on blitz as OLB, communicates with RG and kicks out to handle the McCray blitz. Grade: +2
12- Uses effective kick step to mirror McCray’s rush up field and stays in front of him. Grade: +2
13- Takes on DE initially, but allows block to be disengaged once QB breaks the pocket. Grade: +1
—End of 1st Drive—
14- Solid block on DE, moves him off his rush line. Grade: +2
15- Fails to really block anybody and DE from his side gets a sack. Grade: 0
16- Takes on DE, extends his arms and locks out the DE. Grade: +2
17- Very quick out of his stance, is able to stay in front of DE on speed rush. Grade: +2
18- Waits on DE to come on a rush, and then blocks DE easily. Grade: +2
19- Kick slides out and beats DE on a speed rush to a spot. Grade: +2
20- Clears DE to outside creating hole for RB Micheal, play was supposed to go outside. Grade: +1
21- Blocks down on DT, combo block with RG. Grade: +2
22- Doesn’t lock out DE and DE is able to get near the play and redirect the run. Grade: +1
23- Stone walls McCray. Grade: +2
24- Allows Easley to get into his body and has some trouble with him but recovers. Grade: +1
25- Jumbo Set, Completely dominates Easley and pins him on the inside. Grade: +2
26- Sold draw play and then explodes in Easley to seal the edge for a TD run. Grade: +2
—End of 2nd Drive—
Overall Blocking Average Grade: 1.6

By both tackles averaging over a 1.5 cumilative score you can see just how dominant they were when it came to shutting down a very talented Florida Gators defensive front.

Tags: Aggies, Jake Matthews, Luke Joeckel, SEC, Texas A&M

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