The Falcons just showed the world that protecting Matt Ryan is the only intention of their No. 6 selection by taking Jake Matthews, an offensive tackle out of Texas A&M. The Falcons get someone who can instantly start for them for a decade and lock down a spot that needs talent.
On the Field
Jake Matthews is easily the best pass-protecting offensive tackle in the NFL draft this year. He's someone who will come right in and play either left or right tackle for the Falcons for the next 10-15 years and be a Pro Bowl caliber player.
Protecting Matt Ryan is the name of the game with this pick, and it's definitely the right move because there are few guys who will be better than him in the league off the bat. Matthews has a kick step that would instantly be the quickest on the Falcons roster.
This means that he can mirror what a defensive end can do and protect the blind side effectively. With a true franchise left tackle who can take any defensive end on one-on-one, the Falcons will be able to scheme better protections for the rest of the line.
Off the Field
Jake Matthews is the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. He's the nephew of Clay Matthews, Jr. and grandson of Clay Matthews, Sr. He's also cousins of Casey Matthews, Clay Matthews III and Troy Niklas. Much like Desmond Trufant last year, football runs through his blood.
Matthews was also a team captain for the Aggies during his career at Texas A&M. As a leader in the locker room, Matthews also had to keep clean off the field. Without any arrests or suspensions during his career at Texas A&M, he's an ideal Comrade Filter fit.
Why Jake Matthews instead of Taylor Lewan?
Jake Matthews is just better than Taylor Lewan. Despite Lewan being known for being nasty, Matthews is just a better overall player. He's a better pass-blocker. He's a better run-blocker. He's a better locker room fit for what the Falcons want as a former team captain.
Matthews is going to be an instant starter as well. Whether he plays the right side or the left is the only question. Lewan would have had to play the left side and would have had to battle Sam Baker for the starting job there. Matthews just made more sense.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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