Originally Posted by Brent
LSU DEs v. TAMU OTs this weekend... draft gurus everywhere are salivating.
I give the edge to the LSU DE's. Joeckel and Matthews are very similar, but I think Matthews has shorter arms. Both lack elite foot speed, they aren't a tier one level talent like Kalil was last year. Both have their hands low when setting up in pass protection, so they expose their chest and even Louisiana Tech's DE's gave them a couple of issues last week. Here's my notes from that game:
Luke Joeckel* - OT – some have Joeckel ranked in their top 10's, but other than the fact he's a tackle I don't think he belongs here. A few years back the Rams took Jason Smith out of Baylor with the second pick in the Draft and while drafting Joeckel may not be as big of a mistake, I think it would be a similar reach based on position. I'm not a big fan of doing this, if the talent is not available, even at a key position, it's best to find veteran help and come back next year. Clearly difficult with GM's not given much time, but better than a bust.
Joeckel's main issue is that he leaves his chest exposed when setting up in pass protection. His hands are low and when he brings them up, they come into his man from low and outside. At times this means hand placement is too far outside and so it was he was called for holding early in this one. He wasn't up against top competition, but struggled a few times. His man dipped and ripped – he had no response and was beaten outside. He struggled against pure speed off the edge and doesn't have the foot speed of a Matt Kalil.
On the positive side, he can sit in his stance and mirror very comfortable. He's very patient on stunts and doesn't get himself overextended. He also handled a spin move very well, moving his feet to mirror and again waited for the man to come to him and hold up. He's not a cloth grabber and I'm not a fan of this as it keeps the defender alive – but it appears that's how he's coached. Certainly has ability to sit and mirror – but I don't think he's a top tier left tackle prospect.
Jake Matthews* - OT – this is my third watch of A&M and I think Matthews arm measurement at the Combine (should he come out early) might be an issue. Like his team mate Joeckel, Matthews hands are low when he sets up in pass protection. That issue of leaving his chest open is further compounded by the fact that when someone gets into him, he struggles to counter as he can't reach and respond. He has to strike first, but with his hands low that doesn't always happen. This issue caused a QB pressure on a play which turned into a interception return for a TD. Like Joeckel, his hand placement is a concern – again outside a bit too much. He's very athletic in the run game, getting to the second level quickly but under control. A little light perhaps, too much so to really think about a move inside, but I have some concerns with him and think he might get exposed down the stretch in the SEC.