Texas A&M offensive lineman Jake Matthews is on his way to being a first-round pick because of his potential as a left tackle, and his skills as a pass protector make him ideally suited to the highest-paying position on the offensive line. But Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin thinks Matthews has the same across-the-line potential that his father, Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, displayed in his 19 NFL seasons.
And Sumlin doesn't think Jake Matthews would mind doing it.
"He's such a team guy. So mature, patient. He's strong. He's athletic and has been a real leader in this program since the time we arrived. In my opinion, he's not just a tackle he's one of the few guys in the country that can play all five," Sumlin said, according to claremoreprogress.com. "Teams can only take seven linemen in the NFL to games so you've got to have guys that can swing around and play different positions. So knowing that I can play either tackle, I think that's something that really helps me out a lot."
Matthews, of course, has plenty of experience at right tackle, which he occupied at Texas A&M while 2013 first-round draft pick Luke Joeckel handled the left side. Matthews was moved to left tackle before last season. As such, playing interior offensive line would be more of an adjustment for Matthews.
But as Sumlin noted, every team in the NFL needs a couple of offensive linemen who can be plugged in anywhere in a pinch. But make no mistake, Matthews will be hitting the jackpot in May to protect a quarterback on the left edge. If he ever gets paid for his ability to play five positions, it'll be in his second NFL contract -- not his first.