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Matt Reynolds, NFL Draft 2012: Potential RT Gem in the Late Rounds

It can be hard for some football fans to understand why prospects who look so dominant in college can fall so low in the NFL draft. Such is the case with Matt Reynolds, the former freshman All-American left tackle who helped forge one of the best passing offenses in the NCAA over the last few years. This is a classic case of the player who does everything well, but nothing great. At the next level teams like to see players who can do one or two things outstandingly, and work on their skill-set from there. When watching Reynolds on film there's definitely a sense that you're watching a player who is as good as he'll ever get.

While I don't always believe in knocking players because of age (I tend to think if a player can play it transcends age) when it comes to Matt Reynolds it's a very definite issue. Like all prospects out of BYU he's entering the NFL far later than most prospects at 25 years old, and ultimately this will also impact how he is perceived; there is no chance he'll become more athletic, or be able to grow- he is what he is.

Thus far I know it sounds like he's a terrible prospect, and that's not really accurate. Reynolds has the skillset to play OT in the NFL, but none of the nuances you like to see from the position. He is a good athlete, has decent footspeed and is a smart football player. If the Falcons are looking for the kind of guy who is a career reserve who will be reliable when needed I think Matt Reynolds would fit the bill very well.

He's at his best in the run game when asked to step and seal on the edge, doing a great job quickly getting into defenders, locking on with his strong hands and finishing blocks on the perimeter. He also possesses the coordination to stick to defenders through the play and likes to finish blocks, showcasing a bit of a mean streak through the play. Reynolds has some initial pop in the run game as well, displaying the flexibility to sit into his stance, keep his pad level down and create a jolt on contact when asked to play in a phone booth.

National Football Post

This is the kind of player the Falcons could look for in the late rounds. I don't believe he'll ever be a starting tackle, or be the kind of guy who will transcend his draft spot and take the league by storm, but as we've seen recently Atlanta need some reliability from their rotational guys. Given he will likely be available in the 5th or 6th round I think he could be worth a pick, even if it's a case of 'what you see is what you get'.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.