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Thread: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

  1. #1
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    Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    By Jim Thomas

    Jeff Fisher hadn’t seen Jake Matthews in years before they talked at the NFL scouting combine in February.

    “He was about this tall,” Fisher said, raising his hand a foot or so above a table top.

    Then Matthews, the highly-rated offensive tackle from Texas A&M, arrived at the Rams’ suite for his formal interview at the combine.

    “He walked in the door, and it was if his dad was walking in the door,” Fisher said.

    Fisher would know.

    Bruce Matthews, Jake’s father, spent the last seven seasons of his Hall of Fame career playing offensive line for Fisher’s Houston Oilers-Tennessee Titans teams.

    When Fisher watches Jake on tape at Texas A&M as part of his preparation for next month’s draft, he sees a lot of Bruce on the field.

    “With Bruce having played all the position and being selected to the Pro Bowl ... he was probably one of the more flexible offensive linemen to ever (play),” Fisher said. “I think Jake’s got some similar traits. We haven’t see Jake play center yet or guard. But athletically, he can do both I’m sure.”

    Competitiveness?

    “He appears to be as competitive as his dad,” Fisher said. “His dad, if he was in this room, he would be doing something of a competitive nature.”

    Durability?

    “The one thing that’s been consistent throughout is durability in the family,” Fisher said. “Yeah. That’s hard to explain. It’s not incorrect to assume that Jake’s also going to be durable.”

    Last but not least, is Jake Matthews as athletic as his father?

    “I’ll have to tell you after the private workout,” Fisher said. “Don’t know. I would assume so.”

    But it all helps explain why the latest Matthews off the assembly line shouldn’t be overlooked as an option for the Rams at No. 2 overall. That’s where he sits in the Post-Dispatch’s second mock draft for 2014, also know as “Mock 2.0.”

    In “Mock 1.0” one month ago, we had the Rams taking defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at No. 2 after Houston took Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles.

    Fresh off Clowney’s highly-acclaimed workout Wednesday at South Carolina’s pro day, “Mock 2.0” has Houston taking him at No. 1. That leaves the Rams with their choice of any of the top offensive tackles at No. 2.

    Matthews isn’t quite as physical as Greg Robinson of Auburn or Taylor Lewan of Michigan. But he’s a polished, technique-sound, accomplished blocker.

    As the saying goes, he’s a “plug-and-play.” In other words, draft him, plug him into the starting lineup on Day One and watch him play for the next 10 years.

    Then again, when it comes to the Matthews’ family, 10 years might be underachieving. His father, after all, made it 19 seasons including 14 Pro Bowls.

    “It’s gonna be hard to get to 19 years and 14 straight Pro Bowls,” Jake said, smiling. “That could be difficult. That’s a pretty lofty goal to shoot for.”

    When Matthews looks at his family’s football lineage, it’s unlike just about any in the history of the NFL.

    Jake’s grandfather, Clay Matthews Sr., played in the NFL in the 1950s. Then came his father Bruce and his uncle Clay Matthews Jr. (Clay Jr. played 19 season for the Browns and Falcons.)

    And now, Jake is about to join the third generation in the NFL.

    His cousin, Clay Matthews III, is a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. Another cousin, Casey Matthews, plays linebacker for Philadelphia.

    That’s a long legacy to live up to.

    “I’d like to think I wasn’t grand-fathered in,” Jake said, laughing. “I hope I earned my way here. It is special — the family I came from, and the relationships.”

    It also makes for a tremendous resource, whether it’s advice on preparing for the draft from Clay. Or advice on how to execute a block from his dad.

    Jake’s earliest memory of his father playing in the NFL is Super Bowl XXXIV, when the Rams defeated Fisher, Matthews and the Titans 23-16 to conclude the 1999 season. Matthews started at left guard in that game. Jake was a couple of weeks shy of his seventh birthday.

    “But I’ve gone back and looked at him (on film),” Jake said. “Just a guy who plays hard, finished — really impressive to watch. I’m proud to call him my father. I’m trying to do the same thing he did, and if I could do half the things he did. I think I’d have a great career.”

    Jake said his father wasn’t the type to push football on him, much less playing the offensive line. In fact, Jake played quarterback when he was younger. He didn’t more to the offensive line until his sophomore year in high school. But once he switched, his father was a huge help.

    “I mean, having a Pro Football Hall of Famer help you figure out the position was definitely beneficial to make me the player I am today,” Jake said.

    At A&M, he played left and right tackle. He handled the coaching staff change from Mike Sherman to Kevin Sumlin — and from pro style to spread offense — without trouble.

    Now, he’s ready for the next step, which could include renewing his relationship with Fisher.

    “I was just a kid running around when my dad was playing,” Jake said. “I knew (Fisher), but not really too well. ... I would love to play for him.”
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  2. #2
    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    Been my pick for a while as most likely and most beneficial

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    kman is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    without a doubt, safest pick...

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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    Great Story, Thanks for sharing Maui Man!

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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    I love this write-up, and really hope Matthews is our guy.

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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I love this write-up, and really hope Matthews is our guy.
    I agree, on both counts. With talent, athletic ability, football intelligence, versatility, and pedigree all wrapped up in a plug and play package, he's as close to a slam dunk as there is in this draft. Adding to that the fact that he fills a need and improves the most important unit on any football team, makes him the guy IMO.

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    I don't think you can go wrong with mathews. I personally would prefer this pick because solid 10year o-linemen do not grow on trees. He can play LG or RT for years to come and then we have also have great depth brining him in.

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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    Would still prefer Robinson if we stay at #2, but definitely wouldn't be opposed to trading down and selecting JMIII.

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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    I won’t be horribly disappointed if the Rams somehow ended up with G. Robinson. That said, acquiring Jake seems not only “safe” in that he can be plugged in right away, but also that he can stay plugged in game after game after game. I don’t know much about Greg Robinson’s mind set, or durability, but I do know that Jake was coached up continually (after he moved to OL in high school) by his Hall of Fame O-lineman dad Bruce M. IMO that is an enormous benefit - huge. (See the Manning brothers.) By hook or by crook, I am really hoping Jake will be wearing horns come May 8th ..

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams know what they'd be getting if they draft Matthews

    As a prospect:
    Jake Matthews is a football player
    Greg Robinson is an athlete

    There's a reason why guys like Jerry Rice are more likely to meet with success than say, Stephen Hill.

    ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫
    Your beat still laments the world

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