Prospect: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Weight: 305 lbs.
Grade: 7.9 (Grading Scale)
+Is more than athletic enough to handle the RT spot in the NFL, in fact some have speculated that Matthews could in fact kick over the left side and be more than proficient there
+Does a good job getting out of his stance and into his set quickly
+Stays in his knee bend and this allows him to deliver an effective punch as well as anchor down when needed
+Utilizes his arm length to keep pass rushers away from his body
+Has the speed to get out in front of outside runs off the edge
+Will move to the outside of Joeckel in their goal line jumbo set when they go unbalanced
-Speed rushers can beat him on a straight rush
-Does not have the same lateral quickness or smooth kick slide that Joeckel has
+Understands all the calls and schemes that have come in since Sumlin took over the offense
+Blocked on an island a good bit, being asked to study and understand what his opponent was going to try and do on a weekly basis
+High level of awareness, does a good job identifying and engaging blocking targets in the open field or on the 2nd level
+This is where Matthews shines the most, he’s a dominant run blocker who is able to move any defender almost at will
+He has a lot of natural explosion into contact, he does a great job maintaining his technique and leverage throughout the block
+Uses his strength to stand defenders up like they are blocking sleds and move them out of the way
+His footwork allows him to always stay balanced and in control even with his aggressive style of blocking
+When he’s run blocking he’s looking to deliver the blow, has that mentality you love where he wants to drive his defender down into the dirt
+Has some finesse to his game as well, he understands that on certain calls he needs to only chip and get to the next level and does so rather effortlessly
+Uses his lower body so well to drive defenders out of the way
-Can get beat to a spot on the 2nd level by quicker DB’s and LB’s
+Utilizes body length and long arms to keep defenders away from the pocket
+Does a nice job sitting down in his bend in order to anchor and makes it very difficult for anybody to beat him on a bull rush
+Even when he does get beat upon initial contact he is able to re-anchor and stop the rush
+Has a smooth slide to help usher rushers out of the play and up field
+Delivers a heavy blow to speed rushers that he uses to slow them down
+Balance is the key to his pass set, when he stays balanced he is able to maintain his blocks
+Smart player who knows how to look for and stop counter moves
-Can get himself over extended if his punch is not effective, just does not have the same level of lateral quickness or athleticism that Joeckel has
-When he over extends he gets off balance and loses all ability to maintain his blocks
+Extremely sound technique with a complete body of work, has no real weakness
+Upper body and Lower body contain excellent power
+Has an aggressive mindset but stays under complete control
+Uses his hands and feet in coordination and help him stop defenders
+Hand placement is among the best in the country
+Footwork is clean and quick
-Needs to stay consistent in his knee bend
I rate Matthews a few tenths lower than Joeckel because I feel Joeckel is the more athletic prospect and I know he’s a LT where as with Matthews I think he can do it but I’m not sure it’s his best fit. I find Matthews to have the potential to be a dominant RT in the NFL, and see a lot of Cordy Glenn in his game. I think he could flip to the left side and be a more than average LT but I’m not sure he’d ever become an elite LT and if I’m taking Top 15 that’s what I have to have confidence in.
Matthews is probably the best run blocking OT in this draft, his strength, technique, and aggression are a joy to watch on film. He plays under control but still has the nasty demeanor of a guy who just loves to finish his blocks. One of my favorite parts about watching A&M play is when Matthews and Joeckel go jumbo and just completely decimate the entire side of the defense by themselves.
Right now I see Matthews as a mid-late 1st Round pick, but it will all really come down to how a team evaluates him. A Top 15 team who sees him at LT may take a shot at him, whereas teams who see him at RT will want to get him lower.
Jake Matthews v. Florida
-Effective cut block technique
-Anchors down v. Easley power rush and shuts it down
-Pushes the DE down the line of scrimmage and actually creates a screen on two defenders that allows the RB to cut back up field and pick up 10+ yards
-Takes Easley out of the play on a QB draw, coils and explodes into DE
-Is giving Dominque Easley absolute fits
Charting Jake Matthews v. Florida
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
Jake Matthews v. Texas
-Lined up at right tackle.
-Stays on his line, pushes Okafor past pocket.
-Effective using the cut block.
-Gets under Okafor and is able to generate some push in the run game.