As we profiled in first installment of our On The Clock series driven by Michelin and Dunn Tire this morning – The Rise of the Right Tackle – the 2013 NFL draft saw four tackles go off the board in the first 12 picks and all three started their careers at right tackle. This spring three offensive tackles could all come off the board before the draft is out of the top 10. Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, Michigan’s Taylor Lewan and Auburn’s Greg Robinson are the three prized prospects to anchor down important edge roles for NFL offenses.
Many consider Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews to be the most polished of the top three tackles, something Matthews doesn’t mind hearing.
“Being considered a polished player, someone who’s done a lot and played well in my life, I’ll take that as a (compliment),” he said. “At the same time, I still feel like there’s a lot I can get better at. Definitely wouldn’t say I’m at my peak – a lot more I can learn, a lot more I can get better at. So all those things (are) stuff that’s motivating me, and I’m just trying to prove I am capable of being the best lineman.”
Though Auburn’s Greg Robinson is considered raw by comparison, some believe his ceiling as an NFL tackle is higher than Matthews.
“I’m not at full potential right now. I still have a lot to go,” he said. “I started last year was my first season starting. Like the guys they have ahead of me like Jake Matthews, he started since he was a freshman. That’s just something I feel I need to prove.’’
And Michigan’s Taylor Lewan is more athletic than given credit for, though more are coming around to his agility and power combination following a strong combine workout. Many also like his on field demeanor as he brings a nasty demeanor to his game.
“I like to think I’m very consistent and I play through the whistle,” said Lewan. “That’s one of my weaknesses, too, as everybody likes to comment on. But no doubt about it, I like to play through the whistle and do whatever I can to put people in the dirt as much as possible.”
It was thought that a fourth tackle could go in the top 15 as Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio was considered a dark horse for the top half of round one, but concerns surrounding a knee surgery may change that.
Tags: 2014 NFL draft, Cyrus Kouandjio, Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan
Posted in Inside the Bills