The Buffalo Bills could go in a number of different directions with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but their two most likely options seem to be UNC Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron or an offensive tackle. Ebron is one of the most electrifying playmakers in the draft, and his ridiculous athleticism, agility, and mix of size and speed overshadow his work-in-progress status as a blocker and his inconsistent hands. He isn’t a polished route-runner, but he would give the Bills offense another dimension as the leader of a TE duo with in-line guy Scott Chandler; Ebron is a joker TE in its purest form.
But if the Bills would prefer to add a top tackle to their offensive line instead of giving E.J. Manuel another dynamic weapon, then they should draft either Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews. One of those elite tackle prospects will be gone before then, especially since star tackles are put at a premium in the league today (just look at how many tackles went early last year). Both prospects could very well be gone by then, but there’s a strong chance the Bills will be able to take either Matthews or Robinson.
WGR 550’s excellent Joe Buscaglia reported yesterday that Texas A&M Aggies offensive tackle Jake Matthews will visit the team today, and he will join Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Siddoway, who is a late-round sleeper. Buscaglia adds that Matthews is set to dine with the team today, which indicates significant interest in the prospect.
Former first-round pick Cordy Glenn has been excellent as the team’s franchise left tackle over the past couple of seasons, but the Bills could use an upgrade on the right side. Matthews is as safe as it gets at the tackle position, and he has a solid chance of immediately being a quality starter at a position where most players usually struggle to find their feet in this league and adjust to the speed and difficulty of the NFL. An incredible technician, Matthews doesn’t have as good physical tools as Robinson and isn’t as good of a run blocker, but he’s a much more steady pass protector and has plenty of athleticism of his own. Robinson is sometimes viewed as a better fit due to his ability to run block and the upgrade it would provide for C.J. Spiller, but Matthews’s seemingly steady play might be an even bigger asset for the Bills. If I were the Bills, though, I would feel comfortable taking either of them, even if it means passing up on a guy like Ebron.