A ‘Nasty’ Rookie OT Resembles Falcons’ Veteran Jake Matthews

Falcons OT Jake Matthews

Getty Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with Jake Matthews #70.

North Dakota State held their pro day on Friday and Falcons head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot were among several other coaches getting a closer look at Bisons’ quarterback Trey Lance and offensive tackle Dillon Radunz.

Or course, Lance will be the one stealing all of the attention, but Radunz is gaining some steam especially from former Falcons’ offensive line coach Paul Alexander.

Alexander compared the future rookie lineman to Falcons’ All-Pro offensive lineman Jake Matthews.

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Radunz played just one game in 2020 after COVID-19 ended their season early. However, in 2019, Radunz was named first-team All-FCS All-America at tackle. He started 31 games total in 2018 and ’19.


Dillon Radunz’s Scouting Report

Similar to Matthews, Randunz shows solid athleticism on the line.

The Draft Network summed up Randunz in a scouting report below, calling him a “nasty run blocker”:

Dillon Radunz aligns at left tackle for the Bison offense. Relatively speaking, he plays with good overall athleticism with regards to body control and balance. In the run game, he is excellent. He has a nasty disposition as a run blocker and wants to maul you. He can improve his proficiency at getting on moving defenders at the second level, but there’s nothing alarming in this regard. He remains upright and demonstrates instances of good lateral redirect agility. He has the frame to gain more mass and bulk, which should make him more effective. 

At 6’5″ and 305 pounds, Radunz will have to add 15-20 more pounds without affecting versatility on the line.


The Falcons Were Likely There Scouting Lance

While Radunz has been labeled as a top offensive lineman, the Falcons were definitely there to check out Trey Lance as a potential No. 4 overall draft prospect.

Before COVID-19 took its toll on the Bisons, North Dakota State had been a dominant force.

As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Lance played an outstanding season, leading ND State to an undefeated season and a National Championship. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions and flashed his versatility, running for 1,100 yards, and picked up 14 rushing touchdowns.

Playing just one game last season against Central Arkansas, Lance looked disappointing completing just 15 out of 30 passes for 149 yards and an interception. He also added some help on the ground, turning 15 carries into 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Lance isn’t expected to go in the top 5, so it would be smart for Atlanta to draft pack and acquire more picks, that is––of course––if they’re serious about drafting him.

The Falcons are currently slated to draft at Round 1 (No. 4 overall), Round 2 (No. 35 overall), Round 3 (No. 68 overall), Round 4 (No. 99 overall), Round 5 (No. 132 overall), and Round 6 (No. 163 overall).

As for Radunz, he isn’t projected to go off the boards until the third round and wouldn’t be a bad option for Atlanta if he’s still there since the Falcons and Matt Ryan could certainly use plenty of help on the offensive line.

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