Skilled at mirroring speed rushers going for corner
Holds up against bull rushes
Can shut down elite pass-rushers for four quarters
Can push open holes
Can get movement in the ground game
Excellent knee bend
Superb pad level
Gets to blocks on the second level
Fast at hitting kick-out blocks
Rarely ever penalized
Experienced success against good college rushers
Ready to play immediately
Flexible to play zone-blocking or man-blocking schemes
Arm length (33 3/8")
Was more powerful at right tackle
Lacks a mean streak
As the son of NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, there were huge expectations for Jake Matthews when he entered the Texas A&M program. He quickly justified the high hopes on his way to being a 4-year starter and a difference-maker for the Aggies' program.
Texas A&M's sacks allowed per game went down dramatically in 2010 after Matthews entered the lineup as a freshman. For three years, he started at right tackle on the other side from Luke Joeckel, but would have been a left tackle at all but a handful of schools in that time.
Matthews was very good at protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill in 2011. Matthews als did an excellent job of opening up holes in the ground game for running backs Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael. Matthews' run blocking seemed to be more physical and mean during the early going of his collegiate career, and that change could be attributed to the Aggies leaving Mike Sherman's system for Kevin Sumlin's spread, fast-paced offense.
In 2012, Matthews produced his third dominant season of college football. He was a strong pass-protector for Johnny Manziel and was phenomenal at opening up holes in the ground game. Matthews played well against Auburn as Texas A&M put on a spectacle of domination. He had the biggest test of the 2012 season a week earlier taking on LSU speed rusher Barkevious Mingo. Matthews had some great blocks in the ground game, including some plays where he took care of Mingo and a defender on the second level. Mingo didn't beat Matthews for a sack and only had one pressure after Manziel scrambled into Matthews while blocking Mingo. Against Alabama, Matthews played very well to lead the Aggies to an upset win. His protection for Manziel was superb.
Matthews had a strong 2013 season, too. The senior's pass protection for Johnny Manziel was rock steady. Manziel didn't make it easy with the way he held onto the ball for long periods of time and scrambled into defenders.
Auburn's speed-rushers gave Matthews some issues in 2013. He won the majority of his blocks, but was beaten for a sack by Ladarius Owens on a left-armed rip move. Matthews had a rough game against Alabama and was beat for a sack in the season-opener against Rice.
Late in the regular season, Matthews shut down Missouri pass-rusher Kony Ealy. Matthews was solid against LSU, although he did allow a coverage sack. To end his career, he dominated against Duke.
Matthews projects as a franchise left tackle for the NFL. He is a superb technician as a pass-protector. Matthews has quick feet, excellent pad level and knee bend. He is very fast in his drop to mirror speed rushers and take away the edge. Generally, Matthews is sound on moves to the inside. Matthews has the ability to shut down good pass-rushers for four quarters. He is an ideal tackle candidate to protect a franchise quarterback.
Matthews is a quality run-blocker, but he isn't overwhelming in the ground game. Matthews also doesn't play with a mean streak, and the same thing was said about Joeckel last year; that didn't stop Joeckel from going second overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. It appears that the Aggies coached Matthews and Joeckel to not finish off defenders to help maintain the pace of the offense and avoid penalties.
Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Matthews graded behind Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson. Still, Matthews is a very safe pick to pan out and turn into a potential Pro Bowl left tackle in the NFL. Matthews looks solid as a top-16 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
It was a tough call, but it is hard to say that Matthews is going to be as good as Cleveland's Joe Thomas. At times, Joeckel's style of play is similar to Thomas, but the Browns' all-pro is much better in the ground game. Matthews has athleticism and versatility like Ferguson. The Jets pro-bowler was taken with the fourth-overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Matthews should also be a top-10 pick. At the very least, he could be a pro who is as good as Ferguson.
Oakland, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Tennessee, New York Giants, St. Louis
There are a few landing spots for Matthews in the top 10. Perhaps the highest that he could be selected would be to the Raiders at No. 5. Oakland signed Donald Penn, but he is just a temporary solution at left tackle. Last year, the Raiders were going to draft Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher if either fell to the third pick. Oakland feels offensive linemen are safer picks. Matthews and Menelik Watson could give the Raiders long-term bookends. However after signing Penn, it seems more likely that Oakland would target a different position.
The Buccaneers moved on from Penn and signed Anthony Collins, but the team still could use help at guard. Tampa Bay could draft Matthews and start him out at guard or move Collins to the inside. In the long term, Matthews would settle left tackle for the Bucs.
Buffalo makes a lot of sense for Matthews. The Bills need a right tackle. By drafting Matthews, they could consider moving Cordy Glenn to the right side.
The Titans don't have an immediate need for a left tackle, but Michael Roos is 31 and nearing the end of his contract. Tennessee could look at Matthews as his future replacement.
The Giants addressed the offensive line in free agency, but they could still target Matthews to improve their pass blocking for Eli Manning.
For a long time, many projected Matthews to the Rams with the second-overall pick. His father played for Jeff Fisher, and St. Louis could consider him to be the future replacement for Jake Long. Considering all of Long's injury issues, St. Louis could use a backup option in a critical year for Sam Bradford.
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