Matthews looks like a rock solid NFL OT to me. It's in his genes.
Just like Casey and Kevin Matthews right? I like Jake Matthews. From what I saw from Texas A&M last year, I liked him more than Joeckel. And I wouldn't be against drafting Matthews, but only if he's the best player available. If there is a foundation/franchise player that you can build a defense around, then the Falcons have to draft him with their top pick. Not some franchise LT that isn't going to have this huge impact on the team. Certainly not as much as you guys are saying.
fun gus wrote:
That is why teams like the Pats are in it every year now, because they have a solid interior that gives thier smart, athletic QB's an extra second to get the job done. Like using a first round pick for Logan Mankins and then using another first round pic on Nate Solder. So Tom Terrific gets a nice OL, and they are in it year after year.
Really? It's the OL that is the secret to the Patriots success? Like this year? Brady is having the worst season since 2002, which thus far has been the only season that the Brady-led Patriots did not make the playoffs. Brady is currently the 20th best QB in the NFL based on his passer rating/ANYA, and is on pace to be sacked 46 times this year. FYI, the most he's ever been sacked in a single year was 41 times, which came when he was a rookie in 2011. Ever since then, the most have been 32 times. Yet, the Patriots currently have the 4th best record in the NFL. Is that because of the OL? Or maybe it's because this year's defense is the best it's been since the 2007 season, especially when you look at defensive ANYA, which this year's group is in fact the 4th best that Belichick has ever coached.
Yeah, that OL is really making a difference.
Also interesting that you initially mentioned the Saints and then edited them out of your post. Interesting because the 2006 Saints went to the NFC title game, and then the following year finished 7-9, followed by 8-8, then won the Super Bowl in 2009 with a 13-3 record. And you can also bring up recent history, with the Saints going 7-9 last year.
3 times in 6 years, the Saints failed to finish above .500 under Drew Brees. Is that because their OL took dips? Like say in 2006, when they had the 4th best sacks allowed rate in the league, and that improved the following two years to finish 1st and 2nd, and in 2008 in particular, they had a sack rate that was half of what it was in 2006? Yet, how do we explain that drop off from the team? If getting better production from their OL in 2007 and 2008, how do we explain the fact that they didn't have a winning record or make the playoffs. Maybe it has to do with the defense. In 2006, their defensive ANYA was ranked 20th in the NFL. Not particularly good, but when your offense's ANYA is the 3rd best in the league, it can certainly compensate. Then in 2007, their defensive ANYA fell to dead last in the NFL. Their offensive ANYA also fell to 9th. Why is that? Not because the OL did a worse job. It's because they got behind in a lot more games, and thus Brees was forced to throw a lot more (554 attempts in 2006 to 652 in 2007) and thus he threw more picks (11 to 18). Clearly, the improvement from the OL didn't really help them there.
Then in 2008, their offensive ANYA rebounded back to 2nd in the league, and it probably had to do more with their defensive ANYA rebounding back to 18th in the league than the improvement they saw on the offensive line. But they lost too many close games (3-6 in 1-score games), and thus finished 8-8 that year.
Then in 2009, they once again killed it offensively (2nd best ANYA), and their defense shot up to 8th best ANYA, and they won a Super Bowl. Oh, and BTW, their OL play reverted back to their 2006 level in giving up more sacks than they did in 2007 and 2008.
I want to be clear in case you're confused. I too want to improve the offensive line. I want to see Matt Ryan to get protected by talented players like Nate Solder, Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, Sebastian Vollmer, and Carl Nicks. I want to see this offense with Ryan, Julio, and a good OL that can both protect the QB and clear running lanes like the Pats and Saints have done in the years where they've been really good.But the priority must be the defense if the goal is to win a title
. There is NO ARGUMENT to be made that a good OL > good defense in terms of helping teams win at the highest levels. The evidence clearly shows that having a good defense is more impactful than having a good OL.
Now if you're of the mindset where you want to go to/watch the games and the Falcons offense just lights up the scoreboard every week and wins 38-35 or 35-31, then obviously the OL is the way to go there.
But I can tell you exactly how that plays out. They'll be games just like that, where the Falcons put up a ton of points, but in the 2nd halves of those games teams will come back on them. They'll go up 24-7 at halftime, and then in the 2nd half when the other team gets the ball and starts dropping back to throw every down, because they don't have a pass rush, even if Alford/Trufant are the best corners in the league, they can't cover for 4 seconds, and thus that QB is going to have all time to throw. And then it'll be 24-14. Then the Falcons will get the ball and go down and score, pushing the lead to 31-14. But then it's 31-21 as the 4th quarter begins. And then the Falcons try to run the ball, and go 3 & out. And then the opponent goes right down the field and scores, and now it's 31-28. And RobertAP is screaming how the Falcons lack killer instinct and how they have all these weapons and why are they going conservative. Then Matt Ryan scrapes them together and they get 1 more TD.
And then there will be games where they decide to throw it instead of running it, and Ryan throws a pick (like he did vs. the Seahawks last January).
And again, you have to factor in the premium placed on pass rushers.
From 2003-12, there were 8 defensive linemen/3-4 outside linebackers drafted in the Top 15 picks and have had 2 or more seasons of 10+ sacks. That is also the same number of players drafted between Rounds 3 and 7.
But remember, there have been 43 such players drafted in the Top 15 picks over that 10-year period. Meaning the chances you find the next Chris Long, Terrell Suggs, Mario Williams, DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, or Kevin Williams is about 18.6% when you draft in the Top 15.
For Rounds 3-7, there have been roughly 325 such players. Meaning you have about a 2.5% to find the next Jared Allen, Elvis Dumervil, Charles Johnson, Robert Mathis, Shaun Phillips, or Trent Cole.
Again, the chances you find a premium pass rusher is about 8x higher when drafting in the Top 15 picks than after Round 2.
Now look at the breakdown of the Top 16 currently highest graded OGs in the NFL (per Pro Football Focus)
1st round picks = 2
2nd round picks = 2
3rd round picks = 7
4th round picks = 2
6th round picks = 2
undrafted = 1
Here's the left tackles BTW:
1st round = 9
2nd round = 3
4th round = 1
7th round = 1
undrafted = 2