The Jacksonville Jaguars aren't finished rebuilding their offensive line.
One year after drafting Luke Joeckel second overall, the Jags must take his former TexasA&M teammate Jake Matthews.
On a related note, asked source about #Jaguars at No. 3. Them: "The Texas A&M kid." Me: "Evans?" Them: "No -- Matthews."— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) April 10, 2014
It's a move the Wembley bound Jaguars have to make. They need Matthews more than you think.
That would mean bypassing skilled pass-rushers like Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack, if the former is still available. But head coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell added veterans Chris Clemons and Ziggy Hood to the defensive front this offseason.
They also retained rush end Jason Babin, who led the team in sacks last season with 7.5. Babin, Clemons and underrated young pro Andre Branch give the Jags plenty of weapons for pressuring quarterbacks off the edge.
It's his own team's ability to contain outside pass-rushers that should have Bradley concerned. The Jacksonville O-line surrendered 50 sacks in 2013.
That has to change, especially given Bradley's decision to stick with Chad Henne under center. Henne is capable of putting up big numbers, but he is a static pocket-passer who needs time to use his arm strength.
Having a pair of bookend tackles like Joeckel and Matthews up front can help create the additional seconds Henne needs to utilise an unheralded, but capable group of pass-catchers.
Matthews and Joeckel were superb at the collegiate level. Their dominance over some of the nation's best pass-rushers was chiefly responsible for the success of dynamic quarterback Johnny Manziel.
That's what made Joeckel so touted a year ago. He began life in the pros moving from left to right tackle.
But he was soon moved back to the left side when Jacksonville traded Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens. Sadly, Joeckel didn't get the chance to showcase his skills at his natural position.
He succumbed to a serious ankle injury in Week 5 that wiped out the rest of his rookie campaign. The Jags are counting on Joeckel's return to bolster a left side that now also features former Denver Broncos Pro Bowl guard Zane Beadles.
But there is still an issue at right tackle. Matthews, who like Joeckel can play on the left or right, would solve that problem.
He is a very fluid and technically proficient blocker. But Matthews' game isn't entirely based on finesse. He also boasts the power, length and aggression to overwhelm defenders:
Matthews is also a natural force in the running game. He consistently drives the initial wave of a defense off the line of scrimmage to create inviting inside lanes for running backs.
Those skills would provide a major boost for last season's 31st-ranked rushing attack. The Jacksonville offense averaged a measly 78.8 yards per game on the ground.
New lead-runner Toby Gerhart would certainly relish running behind Matthews' brutal blocks, before unleashing his punishing, power-based style on defenders.
Caldwell and Bradley can feel confident Matthews will make a quick transition to the NFL. After all, in his genes. His father is Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, a magnificent performer at every O-line position:
Using consecutive first-round picks on offensive tackles is deemed an unusual move by many, including NFL.com CFB 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread.
But given the landscape of the AFC South, it actually makes a lot of sense for the Jaguars. The division is loaded with some fearsome and versatile pass-rushers.
The Houston Texans feature J.J. Watt, perhaps the most destructive defensive lineman in football. He usually attacks the right side of an offensive line.
So does Robert Mathis, the outstanding rush linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, who led the NFL with 19.5 sacks in 2013.
The Tennessee Titans can unleash a dangerous pass-rusher in the form of young outside linebacker Akeem Ayers, one of the best kept secrets in the NFL.
The Music City franchise has also added stellar veteran Shaun Phillips, another accomplished pass-rusher who loves to attack right tackles.
The point is Jacksonville needs help on the right side of its offensive line more than people think, Maybe more than they need another pass-rusher, wide receiver or quarterback.
That's why selecting Matthews third overall makes perfect sense.
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