Here’s the second edition of the Chiefs offensive line scouting reports. Last post I took a look at Greg Robinson, who is generally considered the best OL prospect in this year’s draft. I thought it fitting to look at the man who is likely to be the second lineman off the board: Jake Matthews.
Matthews lived in the shadow of last year’s #2 pick Luke Joekel at Texas A&M until this year. That doesn’t mean he’s less worthy of the kind of praise Joekel received leading up to the draft.
In fact, Joekel’s footwork and athleticism made him a candidate to flip from left tackle to right, adding to the learning curve in his adjustment to the professional ranks.
Strangely, being slightly less fleet of foot may help him in his transition. With Joekel wasting away in Jacksonville, Matthews had the opportunity to shine at the LT position, starting all 13 games and earning first-team AP All-American honors. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy and took home the Bobby Bowden Award. These make a strong case for drafting him at left tackle.
At this year’s draft combine Jake Matthews lead all O-linemen in the vertical jump with 30.5 inches and the three-cone drill at 7.34 seconds. This means he’s still pretty quick and athletic, but that doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily be slid over to RT. His strength and technical approach to fundamentals makes him valuable on the blind side.
In today’s NFL, however, versatile linemen are coveted for their ability to play up and down the line. Matthews can certainly do so, playing very well on the RT position until this year.
Smart, tough, versatile franchise left tackle capable of playing all five positions on the line. Can plug into a starting lineup immediately and will play a long time at a consistently high level. One of the safest picks in the draft, Matthews’ best position might even be center.
Considering the early struggles of Eric Fisher and Luke Joekel, I imagine he’d be better off being drafted for one position and kept there.
Why he fits in with the Chiefs:
Jake Matthews seems very solid in both football intelligence and athletic ability, looking a bit like a more polished Branden Albert. With Albert likely gone, he’d be a natural fit. That, however is extremely unlikely to be a possibility. Matthews is a sure-fire top 10 prospect, matching up well in a scheme like Doug Marrone’s offense in Buffalo or the Atlanta Falcons who are looking to rebuild their line.
For more scouting reports on offensive linemen in the 2014 NFL Draft, just click on “scouting report.”