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NFL Draft: Top prospect Jonah Williams idolizes Falcons' Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Matthews


Jake Matthews has been everything the Falcons have hoped for in a franchise left tackle since drafting him with the No. 6 overall pick in 2014 NFL Draft.

He's been as consistent as they come protecting Matt Ryan's blindside and in doing so, he's become someone other players model their game after.


Just ask Jonah Williams, a top offensive line prospect in this year's draft class, who mentioned Matthews as a player he admires when describing his game.

"I build my game off athleticism," Williams said from the combine. "I think athletically I'm similar to [the Falcons] left tackle Jake Matthews [and] Joe Staley, guys like that I look up to that I try to compare my game too."

Williams, 6-foot-5 and 301 pounds, started 43 consecutive games at Alabama. He began his career at Alabama playing right tackle but was moved to the left side where he believes he's best.

Matthews and Williams are in fact similar in size and stature as Matthews is 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds. And since Matthews has been in the league, Williams has been watching.

In fact,'s draft analyst Lance Zierlien compares Williams to Matthews.

"I think we have almost the exact same body," Williams said of Matthews. "I think we have similar athleticism. He's a technician as well. You rarely see him out of position or taking bad sets. He's always a guy who's going to get the job done and have a lot of production and that's what I think I do as well."

Matthews earned his first Pro Bowl nod following the 2018 season.

One of – if not the biggest – positional need for the Falcons is bolstering the offensive line. Outside of left tackle and center, Dan Quinn has said every other position is being evaluated.

Williams said he is comfortable playing both right and left tackle and said he is also willing to slide inside to play guard if that is the immediate need for the team that drafts him.

No matter if it's at right or left tackle or guard, Williams wants to make sure every team knows they are getting a competitor first and foremost.

"They're going to get someone who is going to come in and do his best every single day in everything that I do," Williams said. "That's how I try to approach the game."

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