Jake Matthews – Tackle
Jake is a fourth year senior and a four year starter at tackle. He played right tackle his entire career until moving to left tackle in the spring when Luke Joeckel left for the NFL. Matthews is the son of NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews and is one steady football player. He has a classic NFL tackle build at about 6’5" – 310 with the frame to carry 320 if he desired. He is even cut with long arms. Playing in a fast paced spread offense he is in excellent condition.
He usually lines up in a 2 point stance. The only time I have seen him get into a 3 point stance is when they line up in a short yardage situation. Regardless of the stance he is in, he gets off the ball very quickly and stays low. He is a natural bender who is always in good football position. He is very athletic with a very good base and outstanding balance. In the run game, he is strong and explosive on contact and consistently gets movement. He easily gets to the second level and has no problem adjusting to movement. He is used to pull a lot and shows he can play in space like an athletic guard. In pass protection he sets quickly and is very patient. He is alert to stunts and blitzes and he is consistent. He shows very good mirror ability and reacts to moves very well. He has the lateral agility to stop wide speed and anchors as well as any tackle I have ever seen. Matthews is an excellent technician with very good hand use. He has a strong punch and excellent hand placement. Matthews is an excellent prospect. Having reviewed Lewan from Michigan last week, I would rate Matthews higher. The advantage Matthews has over Lewan is Jake is a better athlete and has experience at both right and left tackle. I feel Matthews can play any position on the offensive line except center. Both Lewan and Matthews are better prospects than Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel last year and will be drafted very high. They may not be drafted as high, though, because there will be highly rated quarterbacks in this class.