FanPost

Welcome to Atlanta: Jake Matthews

The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2014 NFL Draft with a clear goal in mind: protect franchise quarterback Matt Ryan. After exploring possible trade-up options with the Houston Texans for all-world defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the Falcons ultimately stayed at their original number six overall selection, and ended up with maybe the safest and smartest pick in the entire draft. The Falcons selected Texas A&M stud offensive lineman Jake Matthews, and instantly upgraded their league-worst offensive line unit with the pick.

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The 6’5", 308-pound Matthews paved the way for the Aggies last season at left tackle, and played the previous three seasons at right tackle, displaying the versatility that the Falcons covet. Matthews excels as a rock-solid pass protector, consistently shutting down the opponent in front him, and he’s no slouch in the run game either. He wins with his high-level technique and footwork, as well as his top-notch football IQ and hand placement. Simply put, Matthews makes being an elite offensive tackle look easy. As a senior in 2013, Matthews was named as a first-team All-SEC selection.

Matthews came into the draft as one of the most polished, technically sound, and most NFL-ready offensive lineman in recent memory. He’s a day-one starter at right tackle for the Falcons, and will inevitably move over to the left side if Sam Baker can’t stay healthy or the team decides to move on from Baker’s questionable contract. Make no mistake about it, Matthews was drafted to eventually take over as the franchise left tackle.

Matthews comes from one of the most respected football families in the NFL. He’s the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, and the cousin of Green Bay Packers four-time pro bowl linebacker Clay Matthews and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews. Matthews’ family tree has combined for 753 games played over 54 seasons with 22 Pro Bowl selections. That’s what you call a legacy pick.

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Matthews exemplifies everything the Falcons typically look for in a top prospect: athleticism, versatility, maturity, and NFL bloodlines. For the Atlanta Falcons, he will be tasked with protecting the blind side of Matt Ryan for many years to come. "I know that's the reason why Atlanta picked me. They think I'm a guy that can go in and take care of Matt Ryan, and I'm going to go out and prove that I can."

Welcome to Atlanta, Jake Matthews!

via RiseUpReader.wordpress.com

follow Mike on Twitter @RiseUpReader

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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