NFL Draft 2013: Jake Matthews, Pro-Ready Prospect For Chicago Bears
Since John Tait retired from the Chicago Bears in 2009, the team has yet to find a left tackle that is close to his caliber. The team drafted Chris Williams back in 2008 with the thought he would be their franchise LT for the next eight-to-10 years. Williams look like he was on his way to that, playing well in the team’s final four games at the position.
However, Williams couldn’t capitalize on that performance in 2010. He was injured in a week two game against the Dallas Cowboys and never got his starting job back. After a failed training camp battle for the starting spot and some games this year where he was inactive, the Bears cut bait with Williams.
The guy that’s occupying the position this year is J’Marcus Webb who is quite possibly the most frustrating player on the roster. The reason for that is because at 6-8 330+, Webb has all the physical tools to be a dominant player at his position. He has quick feet and long arms to counter speed rushers, and is already a physical presence in the run game. The problem with Webb is the mental lapses on the field; when you are playing an important position such as LT, you can’t afford to have mental breakdowns.
The offense is struggling this year, despite this being the most talented bunch Jay Cutler has been around since he arrived to Chicago. The offensive line is the main culprit that is holding this offense back from reaching its full potential. They have needs across the offensive line, but the problems are mainly at offensive tackle.
Ideal Prospect for the Bears: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
The son of NFL hall of fame OL Bruce Matthews and the brother of Green Bay Packers standout outside linebacker Clay Matthews, Jake Matthews has a great football pedigree.
The word in most draft circles is that while Matthews is currently playing right tackle for the Aggies, he has the skill-set and is such a smart instinctive football player to play LT at the next level.
Matthews is a very skilled pass blocker who has the athleticism to keep up with quick and athletic defensive ends. He’s also a monster run blocker, which is something offensive coordinator Mike Tice covets out of his LT’s.
The Bears have glaring needs on the offensive line, but they would love to stabilize the LT position once and for all.