The two favorites for this pick is either pass rusher or offensive tackle and with Clowney, Mack and Robinson off the board, Matthews, Barr and Lewan are the main candidates. I'll lean Matthews right now, giving Atlanta a rock on the offensive line to help keep Matt Ryan on his feet.
The Falcons are in a great spot to take a pass rusher or a 10-year starting left tackle. Today it's the pass protector and a guy that gives Ryan the best chance to succeed.
STRENGTHS: Matthews is quick off the snap and uses his long, strong arms and good mobility to control his opponents when pass blocking. While perhaps not an elite athlete, he plays with the technique and tenacity to make his father proud, controlling opponents with good initial quickness, excellent knee bend and balance and terrific upper-body strength. Matthews is a terrific run blocker. Though athletic enough to surprise defenders with an occasional chop block or slipping out to the second level to nail a linebacker, he's at his best simply driving defensive ends off the ball and creating lanes for A&M's running backs to slice through. Once he gets his hands on his opponent, he exhibits an ability to dictate the matchup. Strong lower-half drive and displays a good understanding of leverage when he can establish low position against thicker defenders.
WEAKNESSES: Matthews can get himself in trouble when he stops moving his feet and his lack of elite foot speed and balance may limit just how high he can go on draft day. At times, he'll bend his arms and lock his knees when opposing a strong bull-rush and appears "light" occasionally in power-on-power situations.
COMPARES TO: Joe Staley, OT, San Francisco 49ers - Though Matthews won't blow anyone away with his athleticism, like Staley he's a sound technician with impressive toughness who exhibits no major weaknesses, and is tough to beat in both facets of the offense.
--Rob Rang and Derek Stephens (2/5/14)
While he does not possess former teammate and 2013 first rounder Luke Joeckel's light feet, Matthews is the stronger and more physical run blocker of the two and is perfectly suited to remain at this position in the NFL.
Matthews signed with the Aggies with great fanfare as his father is Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, who starred all along the offensive line for 19 seasons with the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans.
Jake proved early on that he was worthy of the hype, solidifying the Aggies' offensive line once he entered the starting lineup in week six of the 2010 season (Missouri) as the team battled injuries up front. Despite starting just seven games as a true freshman he was recognized by the media as an honorable mention all-conference performer in 2011 and 2012, and most recently received First-Team AP All-American honors. Matthews could have joined Joeckel as a high first-round choice a year ago but elected to come back to College Station for his senior campaign. In making the switch to left tackle in 2013, his stock could end up even higher.
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M, 6-5, 305, 5.08, 1...The latest NFL prospect from the famous Matthews gene pool, Jake is the son of 19-year veteran Hall of Famer Bruce (Houston, Tennessee) and looks it. He doesn't have the quick-footed agility of former teammate Luke Joeckel, the No. 2 overall pick last year (Jacksonville), but, like dad, is more of an enforcer who can consume defenders. Moved from right to left tackle last season to protect QB Johnny Manziel's blind side and proved he is NFL ready. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange