FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Jake Matthews' first live NFL action gives Atlanta coach Mike Smith reason to think the No. 6 overall draft pick has potential to become an elite player.
Matthews, the team's starting right tackle, graded out well in his professional debut as the Falcons beat Miami 16-10 to win the exhibition opener for both teams.
After watching the film, Smith praised the rookie, who had a couple of penalties but mostly held his own in 24 snaps - several of them against former All-Pro defensive end Cameron Wake.
Smith says that Matthews, whose father Bruce played tackle and is a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, "is on a fast track to be a great player in this league."