Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M Aggies offensive linesman Jake Matthews (75) on the bench against the Duke Blue Devils during the first quarter in the 2013 Chick-fil-a Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

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Jake Matthews is as NFL ready as a player can get.  He is a strong, physical run blocker who can immediately enter the NFL and be a solid right tackle.  That is not to undersell his ability as a pass blocker.  He is more than adequate in that respect and provides great versatility that many other offensive tackles lack.

He is a four year starter in an uptempo system.  He played right tackle in college up until last year, when his former teammate, Luke Joeckel, was taken with the #2 overall pick in last year’s draft.  A team may select him with hopes of making him into a left tackle, but that would not fit his best strengths and experience.

Oct 26, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies offensive linesman Jake Matthews (75) warms up against the Vanderbilt Commodores before the game at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

To a casual observer, it is difficult to watch a game and appreciate the little things that an offensive lineman does to help a team succeed.  Most eyes are on the quarterback, running back, or wide receivers.  Also, it’s hard to judge an offensive lineman based on stats, since most places don’t keep track of sacks given up or pancakes.

Matthews measures in at 6’5″ and 305 pounds.  His father, Bruce Matthews, was an NFL guard who is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  His father is brothers with Clay Matthews, Sr, Jake is also cousins with current NFL superstar Clay Matthews, Jr and Casey Matthews of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Strengths

  • Physical player who looks like a mauler at times
  • Excellent technique
  • Quick off the snap
  • Superstar pedigree
  • Fantastic run blocker
  • Solid pass blocker

Weaknesses

  • Teams may not want to use a top pick on a right tackle
  • Lacks elite speed for a lineman

Fit For The Vikings

Matthews would be a great fit for the Vikings team, but they already have Phil Loadholt locked into the role he would play.

My Take

Using a #8 pick on a backup offensive tackle is a silly idea for a team with so many needs elsewhere.  If he is somehow still on the board when the Vikings select, look for them to trade down with a team in need of a solid right tackle.  Minnesota can find their swing tackle either later on in the draft or in free agency.

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