Buffalo Bills NFL Draft Preview: Jake Matthews
Continuing our look at the 2014 NFL Draft and just who the Buffalo Bills might select with the No. 9 overall pick, we get down and dirty, heading into the trenches where most games are won. The Bills have been lacking on the offensive line for as long as I can remember and only started to address the problem with the selection of Cordy Glenn two years ago. This time out, the Bills should be eyeballing one tackle and one tackle only: Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews.
What He Brings:
Much like Glenn, Matthews brings size (6-foot-5, 305-pounds) and versatility to the table. He can play right tackle (which works out well if the Bills want to keep Glenn at left tackle), he can play guard and, oh yeah, he’s projected to be a top-of-the-line pass protector at left tackle.
Wherever the Bills would use him, he would be an impactful player and could fill in along the line if injuries took their toll. Getting that kind of versatility and skill in one package is a rare thing these days, and Matthews has it across the board. He’s not quite the physical marvel that Auburn’s Greg Robinson is, but he’s seen as the more NFL-ready of the two.
What He Would Do For The Bills:
When mixed in with Glenn and Eric Wood, he would give the Bills a very solid line right from the start. In addition, the Bills could slot Matthews or Glenn just about anywhere as both are extremely versatile and capable of playing guard. So the Bills can decide where the strength of their line is and move guys accordingly. It’s hard to match that.
In the long-run he would also provide a prototypical left tackle that most teams covet. If Glenn winds up sticking in that spot, he could slide over and become an elite right tackle, giving the Bills a pair of the game’s best tackles for the next decade.
At one point, it seemed certain that Matthews would be the first tackle off the board and the second player taken overall. But speculation has run rampant of late that the Rams aren’t totally sold on Sam Bradford as their quarterback. Taking one of the big signal-callers No. 2 overall would throw a huge monkey wrench into the selections in the top 10 or 15 slots.
If the Rams take their quarterback, Matthews could fall to the Bills and I’m sure Western New York would jump for joy. Matthews is an elite tackle, and the only way he’s not the first tackle off the board is if someone falls in love with Robinson’s skill-set.