Jake Matthews was the second tackle drafted in the 2014 NFL draft but was always considered the most pro-ready and polished player. Reports are suggesting those beliefs are true, with the 22 year-old tackle impressing coaches, teammates and media.
Gil Brandt was just at Falcons training camp and came away impressed.
Jake Matthews really looks good at @Atlanta_Falcons camp. Had 1 @nfl personnel exec tell me Matthews looks like 5-yr vet. I agree.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) August 3, 2014
Of course this is great news. Tackles usually take a few years of getting beaten up before they become a strength at the position. If Matthews can buck that trend, our offensive line may very well become a strength. At the very least, he is not Lamar Holmes, which is very exciting for me.
The AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter passed along this quote from Peter King.
A quick little picture in my practice day with the Falcons: Jake Matthews (was) in the two-minute drill (and) playing right tackle. "(He) stoned the pass rusher on seven consecutive hurry-up snaps in the two-minute drill. Let me tell you, when the Falcons saw that, they said, ‘We haven’t seen this in years. A right tackle who could actually stop people.’
This is pretty surprising, as a younger Tyson Clabo was the team's last intimidating right tackle. It sounds like Matthews could quickly outperform Clabo's peak years. I am starting to think the Falcons lucked out when the Houston Texans rejected offers for the first overall pick.
Do unimportant people tweet about Jake Matthews? Yes. Yes they do.
Ryan praises Jake Matthews. Said he's done a great job in camp so far. I haven't heard anything negative about the rookie.— Alex Welch (@alexmwelch) August 4, 2014
Alex somehow brought up a great point. I have yet to hear anything negative about Matthew's conditioning, preparation, speed, understanding of the playbook, or any number of problems teams encounter with both rookies and veterans. Matthews has everything so under control, he is working at other positions.
Not only is @ATLANTA_FALCONS rookie Jake Matthews wowing teammates at RT, he also spends post-practice time long-snapping w/ C Joe Hawley— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) August 4, 2014
The following is borderline insane.
Tice said he sometimes doesnt even watch Matthews on film. More worried about cleaning everyone else up.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) August 4, 2014
I have never heard of a rookie offensive lineman outperforming a bunch of veterans. Matthews looks to be every bit of the real deal and is the type of player who can be a difference maker early and often in his career.