Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A
#6 Atlanta Falcons Select Jake Matthews, Texas A&M, Offensive Tackle – The Atlanta Falcons select Jake Matthews with the 6th pick. Matthews is the perfect combination of an elite prospect and a “need” fit, as the Atlanta offensive line had an extremely difficult time keeping star QB Matt Ryan upright this season, and Matthews has been consistently ranked in the top 3-5 players in the upcoming draft. From day one, he would be a massive upgrade over the left tackle conundrum of 2013, and even if Sam Baker is “healthy” and back to normal, Matthews would be, at worst, a very good starting right tackle who could move to the left when/if Baker falters. Other options for this pick include linebacker Anthony Barr of UCLA, and ideally, the Falcons would end up with one of the Matthews/Barr/Clowney combination to fortify their 3 biggest areas of weakness. I believe that Clowney will be in firm consideration if he dropped to this point, but Matthews is a “can’t miss” prospect at a position of great need, and it’s tough to go wrong with that.
Selection Made By Atl All Day: Check out their detailed write up on the Matthews selection at their site.
#7 Tampa Bay Bucaneers Select Anthony Barr, UCLA, Linebacker – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Anthony Barr with the seventh pick. Barr fills a need for the Buccaneers as a pass rusher off the edge. He will play from day one as a strongside linebacker and pass rush end in passing situations. Other options for this pick include quarterback Blake Bortles, who was already selected, along with quarterback Derek Carr, tight end Eric Ebron, and linebacker C.J. Mosley.
The Buccaneers have an explosive pass rusher in the middle in the form of Gerald McCoy, but they lack a threat from the edge to truly frighten opposing quarterbacks. Adding a versatile, athletic pass rusher like Barr would mean the Bucs could mix and match their defensive fronts and bring pressure on the quarterback off the edge in addition to rushing up the middle with McCoy.
Selection Made By The Pewter Plank: Check out their detailed write up on the Barr selection at their site.