Donovan Smith And Jake Matthews

June 24th, 2021

Grade from a former NFL suit.

Pat Kirwan was talking Bucs offensive line. And Joe was listening.

Kirwan, the former Bucs scout (he turned in the card in at the NFL draft in 1986 to select Bo Jackson at No. 1 overall), Jets linebackers coach and pro personnel director has been busy grading each and every offensive line in the NFL this week as co-host of “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Discussing the NFC South this week, Kirwan gave Dixie Chicks left tackle Jake Matthews his highest score of four.

Kirwan noted Dixie Chicks fans want to run Matthews out of town but Kirwan said that’s not fair. Matthews did not get flagged once for holding last year, Kirwan noted, and he gave up a sack once every 134 dropbacks for a stationary target like Matty Ice.

That impressed Kirwan.

So Kirwan said he is expecting to catch hell from listeners on how he could grade Matthews higher than Smith, who he gave a grade of “Three.”

It boiled down to penalties and sacks.

“Donovan Smith doesn’t get the full-four,” Kirwan announced. “People will be like, ‘Well, you gave it to Jake Matthews, why not him?’ Here’s why:

“He’s a good player. Solid as can be. But, 10 penalties and seven sacks [allowed].

“You are playing with Tom Brady, alright? The guy gets rid of the ball. Ten penalties, seven sacks. I have to knock you down for that, just one notch. Three [grade] is above average and it is a good score.”

Joe thinks Kirwan’s analysis is fair.

Look, the way Smith played in the final weeks of the regular season and through the playoffs, he was dominant. That’s right. Every half-arsed talking head is glossing Chase Young like he’s the next Deacon Jones. Don’t get Joe wrong, Young is damn good. But Young didn’t do s(p)it against Smith in the playoffs. Smith erased him. Owned his rear end.

So if Young is the second coming of Jason Taylor, what does that say about Smith?

The way Smith played in the playoffs, much like Devin White, Joe is eager to see if those guys can carry their stellar postseason play into the 2021 season.

(Hat tip: @Borselli.)

25 Responses to “Donovan Smith And Jake Matthews”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Really, I could care less how high Pat Kirwan rates him, as long as he continues to protect Brady.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    consistency is the key….

    i think he’ll improve on that…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  3. Medicated Pete Says:

    Kirwan said multiple times leading up to the draft….Bucs should draft a Left Tackle w/ their #1 pick.

  4. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    3 out of 4 stars is above average and while I don’t often agree with Pat Kirwan, his assessment on Donovan Smith seemed spot on.

    Donovan’s best attribute is his availability. I think, and Joe can correct me, but he has only missed one game due to injuries.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    Doosh? I can’t imagine you have an opinion 😉

  6. D-Rome Says:

    Donovan’s best attribute is his availability. I think, and Joe can correct me, but he has only missed one game due to injuries.

    He has missed two.

  7. PassingThru Says:

    Three out of four stars is about right. I don’t see how this is controversial. Smith started the season shaky, but then played much better towards the end of the season, to the point that he was more like four stars by the time the playoffs arrived. And yes, Brady makes offensive linemen look good as he senses pressure well, navigates the pocket well, and most importantly, quickly gets rid of the football.

  8. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Did Bo Jackson not tell the Bucs he would not play for us before he was drafted? I honestly do not remember but I thought he did. If so, and he was still the pick, was really stupid.

  9. zzbuc Says:

    Last year was way much more consistent and better attitude, but he still makes a lot of penalties.

  10. PassingThru Says:


    Baseball drafts are kind of funky. Scouts have to play amateur psychologist and determine not just talent but signability. Not everyone, particularly high school players will tell them the truth about their intentions. Other times the scout will just hope the money will be enough to persuade them to play baseball.

    To illustrate, the Montreal Expos drafted a skinny catcher from Serra High School in San Mateo, CA in a mid-round. He could have gone earlier in the draft, but he insisted he wanted to go to University of Michigan and play QB.

  11. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Rayjay1122, You are correct and the owner was Hugh Culverhouse, a cheapskate and an idiot.

  12. Pewter Power Says:

    Smith shouldn’t get a 4 and only got a three because Brady is here and wasn’t having that half arsed effort. He’s known for being inconsistent.

    Chase young is not some defensive specialist hell Adrian clayborn got 7.5 sacks as a rookie for us. Smith is still the weak link across the o line and has to have an even better season this year

  13. TSmitty3000 Says:

    I do believe Smith is above average and that’s OK. Every team isn’t going to have a Walter Jones or Jonathan Ogden. You simply don’t want your left tackle to be a swinging gate.

  14. James in Memphis Says:

    Any fool that would take Jake Matthews over Smith is truely blind.. That’s exactly why Kirwan has a radio show as supposed to being a GM in the NFL.. It’s because of thoughts like that or that Keyshawn Johnson was the best player in the draft… He wasn’t even the best reciever in that draft.. Like really?? Oh not to mention he said that Laun Blaine Gabbert was gonna be better than Cam Newton after Gabbert threw only 16 TD passes at Missouri.. ( a power 5 school) That’s who we are listening to? Pat Kirwin?? Ok… Whatever….

  15. James in Memphis Says:

    Pat Kirwin and Mike Mayock are the two worse talent evaluators in the history of the world… You see the drafts that Gruden and Mayock have had… Well picture this Kirwin was worse.. We have listen to these kats for years so it was pretty easy to predict that the Raiders would struggle.. Mayock can’t evaluate and Gruden can’t develope talent.. So you have no talent pjpe line and even if you did they would probably fail because your coach has developed no young players over his long career… Kirwin and Mayock will always be related in my eyes… The two jokes of the NFL predraft coverage…

  16. Craig Says:

    Donovan started slow, but really picked it up by the end of the season.

    Now that he doesn’t have a QB trying to extend plays, he will be great. No penalties or sacks in the playoffs or SB.

    Being on the same page as Brady this season, he will be a rock.

  17. James in Memphis Says:

    Did Pete Carrol take Kirwin with him to Seattle? He had an interview… What happened?? Even his own friend said thanks but no thanks…

  18. Stanglassman Says:

    My understanding was Culverhouse told Jackson that the private jet and trip were cleared by the NCAA and that it wouldn’t impact his eligibility for the rest of his college baseball season. Bo Jackson was drafted No. 1 by the Bucs in 1986, but he refused to play for them because he thought they sabotaged his eligibility.

  19. PassingThru Says:

    Pass blocking for an OT is easier when you know your QB is staying in the pocket, particularly Brady. Protect the inside, push the EDGE to the outside as Brady steps up into the pocket when plays take time to develop. Contrast that with Rodgers or Mahomes who improvise; if you’re an O-lineman, you really cannot be sure where you’re QB is going to be after a few seconds.

  20. All lives matter Says:

    For a fan that was down on Donovan for his perception of being lazy, and his unwillingness to take on defenders in run blocking, the latter half of last season was as if he turned a light switch on, and he showed us a new side of his game. He changed my mind about him and hope he continues his rise in LT grades.

    As if he realized Brady was the real deal and he wanted to play for him. Brady’s presence has raised the level of many of our players.

  21. DoooshLaRue Says:

    ……..and it only took him 5 freaking years to start giving a sh!t.

    Yep, that’s very impressive.

  22. IrishMist Says:

    Smith is so big, he only needs to worry about limiting the inside rush. By the time anyone makes it around his equator, Brady has already gotten rid of the ball.

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dooosh: A simple question…Would someone who didn’t give a sh!t play injured for losing teams?

  24. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’m worried that his threshold for satisfaction is low. Will he be content with a ring and 10 penalties / 7 sacks a season? I’m afraid he is.

  25. Says:

    Kirwin graded Stinnie a 0, because he didn’t have any regular season snaps. He also didn’t realize that we drafted Hainsey as depth at center, he believes Hainsey displaces Stinnie at backup guard. It is when he says that stuff that he loses credibility. He doesn’t monitor the Buccaneers.