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My Thoughts On Round 1 And Looking Ahead


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Reason I Love The Pick:

I can't understand why anyone would be "upset" about the pick last night. It might not be the player you wanted, in your "expert" opinion, but we got the maybe to most pro ready offensive tackle to enter the draft since Joe Thomas. Whether you think defensive line or offensive line was a bigger need, if you think we didn't need a good offensive lineman in this draft you are a fool. The best thing about taking Matthews is that we didn't give anything up to get him. I always look at best case and worst case in any draft. The worst case for Clowney and Mack, for me, complete bust potential like Jamaal Anderson. Now I don't think either will be that bad, but I think that was worst case. Best case is either player being a premier pass rusher in the NFL and that is extremely hard to come by. Contrast that with what I think worst case for Jake Matthews is. One of the biggest "bust" at offensive tackle in recent years was Robet Gallery. He couldn't handle to tackle position in the NFL, simply put. So what happened? He played guard for 9 years at a pretty good level...and that's considered a "bust". Ok, so what's the best case for Jake Matthews? For me, it's a player very similiar to Jordan Gross. Jordan quietly dominated pass rushers for 10 years. I think Jake would want to play for more the 10 years, but still very similar players along with Joe Thomas.

I played offensive line. It's one of the positions I have a good grasp of. That said, of course I only understand a fraction of what the professionals do, but I understand what's important. Perhaps the two most important assets an offensive lineman can have is a quick set and great hands. Jake Matthews has that in spades. He sets so quickly, play in and play out. His technique coming out of his stance on passing plays is second to none in this draft and last year's draft, for that matter. For me though, it's his hands. He almost never loses the hand battle. It's really remarkable. Hand placement is something that can be taught at the NFL level by a the offensive line coach, but to have his hands coming into the league is amazing. Those two things tell me that Jake can handle the NFL at a really good to high level as a rookie. Will he win every battle in the NFL, certainly not. There are going to be "welcome to the NFL moments" for Jake. I am just willing to bet that they aren't as shocking to him as they will be for Clowney and Mack. Doesn't mean Clowney and Mack won't overcome them, it simply means that will be a bigger hurdle to overcome and I have little doubt that either can't overcome hurdles. Both are excellent players and I would've understood if the Falcons made a move to get one of them.

Jakes Measurables:

6' 5 3/4" 308 lbs

33 3/8" arm length

9 7/8" hands

5.07 40 yard dash

24 reps @ 225 lbs

30.5 inch vertical

*Jake has prototypical size. 6'6" 310 is really ideal for an offensive tackle. Jake weighs 310 lbs and carries the weight perfectly.

*He has a good punch and 24 reps is good for a offensive tackle. I would say he needs slight improvement in his upper body strength at the next level.

*His arm length is average, but it doesn't stop him from winning the hand battle. I would like to see 34 inch arms, but when you pull out a tape measure and look at 5/8 of an inch you realize it's not that big of deal.

*Jake has really good athleticism and footwork. If he never improved his footwork at the next level it wouldn't matter. His feet are where they need to be consistently.

*He has shown really good explosion and hip snap to lock into a lineman. 30.5 inch vertical jump was only bettered by 2 offensive linemen at the combine. It's an excellent number.

Going Into Tonight:

I don't think it's any secret we will be looking at the best pass rushers available in the 2nd round and I will make my case for my player later. I think it was important that we get the OT in round 1 and pass rusher in round 2. The drop off after Zack Martin was steep and you even saw a guy like Ju'Waun James go in the 20's to Miami. Getting that OT in the 2nd round that could immediately improve our OL was going to be difficult in round 2. There are a handful of guys in the 2nd that I think can help put pressure on QB for the Falcons in 2014. Demarcus Lawrence, Kyle Van Noy, Jeremiah Attaochu, Trent Murphy, Kony Ealy, and maybe even a Timmy Jernigan could all help the Falcons next year. My ratings for our next pick would go like this:

1. Jeremiah Attaochu

2. Demarcus Lawrence

3. Kyle Van Noy

4. Trent Murphy

5. Timmy Jernigan

6. Kony Ealy

Now, I would be satisfied with any of them, but I have a man crush on Jeremiah Attaochu. However, the Falcons haven't seemed to show as much interest as I had hoped.

Jeremiah has the same size measureable as Khalil Mack though I would say Jeremiah doesn't look as thick up top and he played at closer to 245 last year. When I watch Jeremiah on tape, I get this feeling that he has superb strength. He is put together pretty good, but he looks much stronger on the field. Jeremiah has a relentless motor. He has shown the ability to put his hand on the ground and run with TE's and RB's when needed. He has played against slightly better competition then Mack did and was extremely productive. If he was 1 inch taller and 10 pounds heavier he would've been a first round pick. As far as scheme fit, I think he has exactly what we need next year. A guy who can stand up or get in a 3 point stance in the nickel. I would be ecstatic if he lands with us tonight and I'm a Bulldog fan.

As far as the other players I mentioned. I like them all except Kony Ealy. He has just never impressed me. And certainly I would defer to the professionals if the war room if they passed on Attaochu. I am sure they know more then me.

Prediction: Demarcus Lawrence OLB/DE Boise State

What are your thoughts?

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Great synopsis on Mathews. No one can really argue successfully against that pick.

Unfortunately for us normal people on the board, success in an arguement rarely comes into some poster's minds.

There is a virtual consensus among every draft guru that Jake Matthews will be a solid pro. I don't know what else you could really want.

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