Evaluating the play of offensive linemen is not the easiest task in the world. There are no individual stats that you can cite when you argue one is better than the other and you’ll never see them on Sportscenter highlight reels.
What then did the Atlanta Falcons see in Jake Matthews when they made him the sixth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft?
I’ll tell you what they saw: an immovable object, a great wall of ice stacked seven hundred feet high to keep out the invading hordes of giants, wildlings and frozen zombies…
Where was I? Oh yes, Matthews.
The first thing you need to know about Matthews is he’s big – at 6’5″ and 308 pounds he’s already at prototypical NFL tackle size. The next thing you need to know is that he’s more explosive than anybody that big should have a right to be. I can go on about his physical attributes and his high football IQ, but the best way to demonstrate may be just to show you. Roll the clip.
In short, he kept the most obnoxious human being in college football from being put on his backside. Without Matthews watching his back, Johnny Football is in for a rude awakening when a pro pass rusher locks their sights on him.
Meanwhile Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will be enjoying the benefits of that great wall’s protection.