Viewed as one of the top offensive tackle talents in the 2013 draft class, Matthews was almost guaranteed to be a first-round selection. Combining his tremendous size with surprising athleticism, the Aggies’ right tackle was expected to make the switch to the blindside at the next level.
With an extra year in college, Matthews should be able to hone his skills on the left side while giving NFL scouts even more reason to drool over him. In 2013, he won’t be caught in the shadow of former Aggies left tackle Luke Joeckel, who is expected to be among the top picks in the late-April draft. At the same time, Matthews should have another opportunity to elevate his stock while blocking for 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Luckily for Texas A&M and Manziel, they’ll only have to replace one of their elite tackles this offseason. Matthews should help the quarterback phenomenon make another run at the Heisman while keeping the Aggies in the national spotlight.
This move also works out well for Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson and Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher, two of the other top tackle prospects heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. With Matthews now out of the picture, Johnson and Fisher have become more valuable to teams looking for help along the offensive line.
There will be plenty of blocker-hungry NFL teams disappointed by this news. From an individual standpoint, though, Matthews made the right choice.