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In 2013 we saw an astounding number of Offensive Tackles and Offensive Lineman go early in the Draft; 2014 looks to be much of the same. Matthews, a member of the Matthew’s NFL Tree, will go into the Draft as one of the most notable as recognizable prospects.

 

Early Career

Up until his Senior Season Matthews played Right Tackle for the Aggies. His Junior Season was good enough to earn him First Team SEC Honors and he was a Second Team All-American. Opposite future #2 Overall pick, Luke Joeckel, some disputed that ,should he enter, Matthews was the superior prospect. Joeckel would go on to be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Jake Matthews would decide to stay at Texas A&M to prove himself at Left Tackle. There appeared to be little to stop Matthews from a smooth transition as he had all the skills necessary to slide over successfully.

 

Size

 

Matthews comes in at 6’5, 305 LBs according to the team’s website. While neither of these are of concern, Matthews arms are not very long. A prototype Tackle has longer arms than Matthews possesses, but Matthews doesn’t put himself at a disadvantage, so you could argue it’s a non-issue.

 

Athleticism/Power

 

Matthews is a very good athlete for his size; he has surprisingly good short area quickness, and when asked to get to the 2nd level and block he does so swiftly. He is very quick out of his set and has lightning fast feet. Matthews, overall, is a lot better athlete than he appears and he uses it extremely well. However, his overall strength is not on par with his athletic ability. He lacks complete strength and it can hinder him against excellent “speed to power” rushers. He has the body to add strength, but at this time, his power would be deemed average.

 

Traits

 

Matthews’ technique is elite. He wastes no steps, has consistent hand placement, fast feet, quick out of his stance, and displays an outstanding anchor. Matthews uses these all to his advantage, but he has a tendency to get beat in a variety of ways.

Run Blocking - In the run game, the Aggies ask him to get to the 2nd level and block linebackers a lot, and they also require him to perform a lot of cut blocks. As touched on above, Matthews is able to get to the second level in a very short amount of time, but once he gets there he struggles. He’ll often miss his intended target or not be able to remove them from the play as he intends to do; he tends to just get excited and lunge at the Linebacker and they are easily able to disengage or reroute around him. Another responsibility that Matthews has in the run game is to cut block; he’s unsurprisingly proficient at it.

9/10 Matthews is able to either knock his opponent down or at least do enough damage to make him a non-factor in the play on these types of blocks. When he’s asked to perform a traditional run block he’s fine as well. By no means is he a “nasty” or “mean” run blocker like some of his counterparts but he is a good one.

Pass Blocking - Matthews holds his own against the pass most of the time. He’s an odd study due to the amount of contain rush he faces, which means he often is just blocking a non-rushing player. As detailed above, his technique is excellent but his overall strength holds him back some. His technique looks the same on every play; it’s consistent from the feet up. That’s a huge plus for him, but his biggest thing he has going for him is his anchor. His anchor allows him to maintain his block even when he’s getting beat. His anchor is the best I’ve studied so far. Matthews doesn’t have trouble with speed rushers, but with rushers that are excellent in speed to power rushing, he struggles heftily.

Team Faced

 Outside Move

 Inside Move

 Bull Rush

 Outside %

 Inside %

 Bull Rush %

Total %

 Arkansas

 7-0

 7-1

 8-1

 100.00 %

 87.50 %

 88.88 %

90.90 %

 Missouri

 5-3

 10-4

 7-0

 62.50 %

 71.42 %

 100.00 %

75.86 %

 Auburn

 6-3

 4-0

 8-2

  66.66 % 

 100.00 %

 80.00 %

78.26 %

 LSU

 5-1

 5-3

 5-1

 83.33 %

 62.50 %

 83.33 %

75.00 %

 Duke

 7-0

 4-0

 11-1

100.00 % 

 100.00 %

 91.66 %

95.65 %

OVERALL

 30-37

30-38 

 39-44

82.49 %

84.28 %

88.77 %

83.13 %
*7-0 means 7 wins, 0 losses in pass pro. Percent is success rate* This describes Matthews well, as he really is a model of consistency.His Outside rush is his lowest total, but he is still able to stop them from causing pressure more than 80% of the time. Critique: On outside moves, while he’s usually pretty stable at it, he needs to work on consistently getting in front of his man and not relying on his base.

Here he got run by and was unable to get in front of his man resulting in him losing and allowing the sack.. On inside moves he would be best served just to be more aggressive. When he gets initial contact his man is done, but too often he allows the man to shoot the gap or perform a spin; in general, he would be better off being more aggressive than he traditionally is. For the bull rush his anchor helps him out a lot, but as said numerous times already, he needs to add power.

 

Overall

 

Jake Matthews is a terrific player with a fantastic skillset, but he still has work to do. His technique sets him above a lot of the other players but he still has his fair sure of things to work on to prosper in the NFL. He’ll add power to his body in an NFL weight room which should help him develop into a fine NFL Tackle. He provides a lot of value because of his ability and experience to play at both Left and Right Tackle where other players may struggle (see Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher). I see him as a Mid-First Round player, but he’ll go much higher.

 

Fit With the Rams


Matthews is a player that will likely be a top the Rams Big Board by the time of the draft. We have a need at Right Tackle as Barksdale can easily be upgraded over and also at LT because of Jake Long’s questionable health. He’s a very realistic option at #2 for us and it’s likely that the higher ups will like him a lot. He would not be a surprise pick whatsoever, if he’s selected with our first pick.