By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
The Jaguars did the right thing in bringing in Jake Mathews for a workout last week. While the need for a tackle in this draft may not be as great as say a wide receiver or quarterback or even a pass rusher, the fact still remains Matthews may be this year’s best tackle and the team did its due diligence to have him in for an interview and workout. It may not be the sexy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.
The sexiness of an NFL Draft starts with a quarterback, ends with a hard hitting defensive back and is leveled off by a pass rusher and mammoth tackle in between. Now that the right side of the line is just as important as the left, any tackle that is 6’6” and 305 pounds and can run a sub-4.8 40-yard dash is going to get a look form any team that may be in the market of adding beef to its line – the Jaguars included.
Even with the franchise’s selection of Luke Joeckel last season, this pick may make more sense than you think. Quarterback, wide receiver and yes, even pass rusher, are positions that can be filled in rounds 2-4 with the likelihood of each player seeing significant playing time in their rookie season or shortly thereafter. Having five solid offensive linemen on the field at once is as valuable to the success of the team as having a solid defensive front like the Seattle Seahawks or Miami Dolphins.
According to CBSsports.com, Matthews, who comes from football royalty is one of the elite players in the Draft.
"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.”
If the idea of the Draft is to bring in the best talent available to help the Jaguars, does it really matter what position it comes from in a deep and richly talented year?
While many fans and supporters of the franchise would love the team to select someone “sexy” that can pass for 4,000 yards or get 15 sacks or even shutdown someone like Calvin Johnson, solidifying the offensive and defensive line should be one of the Jaguars’ first priorities. And Matthews, who played right tackle opposite Joeckel at Texas A&M, may be able to give this team the best bookend tackles it has had since the days of Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy.
It is certainly worth a shot and certainly why this team did its due diligence in the first place.
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