Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Bills are currently led by second-year head coach Doug Marrone, a former offensive line coach with the New York Jets (2002-2005) and Offensive Coordinator for our own New Orleans Saints (2006-2008). Coming from a background like his, one would expect Marrone to be lobbying hard for some O-Line studs to help him ramp up the running game and protect their young QB.
Well, that would be correct! With the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Jake Matthews, offensive tackle, Texas A&M University.
Or that's what Sith Lord Goodell would be reading at the podium if I were entrusted with making the pick. Here's the analysis from nfl.com on Jake Matthews:
Strengths: Big, strong, athletic, natural bender. Exceptional technician. Explosive six-inch punch -- quick, active hands. Outstanding base, balance, body control and hand placement. Drives defenders off the ball -- outstanding run blocker. Explosive hip snap. Takes good angles to the second level. Plays with very good awareness -- shows very good athletic ability flipping his hips and adjusting to moving pockets with a jitterbug quarterback. Keen to recognize and quick to adjust to the blitz. Strong finisher -- displays a mean streak and seeks to finish. Has long-snapping experience. Hails from football royalty family -- third-generation NFLer. Tough competitor. Very focused and determined. Humble and grounded. Outstanding all-around character. Film junkie. Started in the SEC for 3-plus seasons. Extremely durable -- missed no time to injuries.
Weaknesses: Arm length appears too short -- limited reach and extension. Operated in a spread offense. Can do a better job sustaining (though was presented with a near-impossible task of knowing where the pocket would be to protect). Has only one year of experience at left tackle.
Draft Projection: Round 1 (top 10)
Bottom Line: Smart, tough, versatile franchise left tackle capable of playing all five positions on the line. Can plug into a starting lineup immediately and will play a long time at a consistently high level. One of the safest picks in the draft, Matthews' best position might even be center.
The selection of Matthews solidifies the Bills offensive line by removing Erik Pears from the Right Tackle position. Moving Cordy Glenn to Right Tackle to replace Pears, vacating the Left Tackle spot for Matthews would be one option, as would leaving Glenn at LT while letting Matthews take over the RT spot. I prefer the latter for the simple reason of not having a rookie protecting the blindside of your possibly-future franchise QB, EJ Manuel. The move allows for a more accurate picture to be gotten on the development of Manuel and stimulates a productive running game with CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. Not a sexy pick, but stability comes first when building a team from the ground up.
With possibly the safest pick in the entire draft, the Bills draft an insurance policy for EJ Manuel. Let me know what you think of the selection in the comment section below, and be sure to vote!
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2014 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
QB Teddy Bridgewater - Louisville
|2||St. Louis Rams||DE Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina||Kevin Sean Held||57%|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||QB Johnny Manziel - Texas A&M||Alex Swift||59%|
|4||Cleveland Browns||WR Sammy Watkins - Clemson||Shadow Flash||80%|
|5||Oakland Raiders||LB Khalil Mack - Buffalo||Khannar||71%|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||OT Greg Robinson - Auburn||Dave Choate||80%|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||QB Blake Bortles - UCF||russty|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||CB Justin Gilbert - Oklahoma St.||JackMarzullo|
|9||Buffalo Bills||OT Jake Matthews - Texas A&M||Letloosethedogsofwar|
|10||Detroit Lions||Monkey Poop Battle|
|13||St. Louis Rams||hooahsaint2.0|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Ryan Edwards|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||Tee Word|
|18||NY Jets||Monkey Poop Battle|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||Alex Swift|
|21||Green Bay Packers||BlackandGold4ever|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||coldpizza|
|25||San Diego Chargers||---|
|26||Cleveland Browns||Shadow Flash|
|27||New Orleans Saints||Dave Cariello|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Ryan Edwards|
|29||New England Patriots||Shadow Flash|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||saintmanumit|