The Atlanta Falcons announced that they have reached deals with their first and second-round picks: Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews and Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman.
Matthews, the sixth pick in the draft, is expected to step right into the starting lineup, at either left or right tackle. The offensive line performed poorly last year, and so Matthews will be relied upon immediately.
Hageman was taken with the No. 37 pick in the draft. He possesses good size and penetrating ability, but has battled questions about his motor and consistency.
Both players will be counted on to improve what were likely Atlanta’s weakest areas last season: pass protection and rushing the opposing passer.