By Seth Payne

It’s that time of year again, the pre-draft period, when your favorite NFL blogs overflow with the opinions of former scouts, wannabe scouts, critics of scouts, girls that have dated scouts, and every other scout except Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. Many of these people do outstanding work, but there’s only so much of it one can stomach. In an effort to bring a little variety to the melange of player reports, I’ve asked a few fomer NFL players to give their opinions on some of this year’s prospects. I call them my Stable of Bros, and you will read them because I’ll go Incognito on you if you don’t. Also, I figure they’ll have a slightly different perspective. Cool, right?

My first Bro Scout is Drew Hodgdon. He lives in Chicago and he’s awesome. He was a center for several years with the Texans. He survived on guile, scrappiness, and a tempered scorn for defensive tackles. Drew knows his stuff. I used to make him take extra reps against me in practice because he did such a good job of exploiting my weaknesses. Hard to say that with a straight face, since I had zero weaknesses (You don’t have access to film, right?). Drew’s got an eye for this stuff and knows what he’s talking about. He’ll be doing a player a day until he quits or at least until his form starts to suffer.

Jake Matthews: Texas A&M, LT

The Good:
• Matthews has the anticipated size, speed and quickness that has become a prerequisite for any OT that has aspirations of being a potential top ten Pick. If he has a ceiling it won’t be because of his tangibles.
• Pass protection is where Matthews shines. Great instincts versus wide edge rushers or head up 3-4 power ends. Shows uncommon change of direction and foot speed for a LT, and what he lacks in sheer punching power he compensates for in outstanding hand placement and body position.

The Bad:
• His ability to work combo blocks to the second level in the run game has room for improvement. I’d attribute the deficiency more to the system he’s been a part of than any inherent weakness in his game.
• At times he gives ground in the pass game especially versus more powerful rudders. At the next level this could spell disaster for an inexperienced tackle against stronger more dynamic rushers.

No Ugly Here:
Left tackles have a history of being risky 1st round draftees. Robert Gallery anyone? With that said if someone wants to shore up their backside with a rookie tackle that has proven pass blocking skills and the last name “Matthews” it’s hard to argue the case against it…. unless there’s another Long still available.

– Drew Hodgdon

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