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Jordan Matthews NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Eagles WR

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 20:  Jordan Matthews #87 of the South team catches a pass over Aaron Colvin #14 during a Senior Bowl practice session at Fairhope Stadium on January 20, 2014 in Fairhope, Alabama.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2014

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (HT: 6'3⅛", WT: 212)

Philadelphia Eagles (Eagles trade 54th and 122nd picks to Titans for 42nd pick)

Second Round: 42nd Pick 

NFL Comparison: James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmsHands
603121233 1/4"10 3/8"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-Yard DashBench PressVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle
4.402135.5"10'0"6.954.18
NFL.com

Positives

  • Possesses the prototypical build for an NFL receiver.
  • Has the frame to add some weight if he wants to become a more physical receiver.
  • Extremely productive despite mediocre quarterback play at Vanderbilt.
  • Has a reputation as a hard worker and it shows up in his technically sound play.
  • Gives an honest effort as a blocker on most plays.
  • An efficient route-runner who makes up for his limited speed and agility with excellent footwork and overall technique in his routes.
  • Ran the full complement of routes in Vandy's offense.
  • Quick release off the line of scrimmage. Fundamentally sound in his approach to press coverage.
  • Doesn't get caught up trying to fight off the press with his hands but dips his shoulder to gain leverage to run through the contact.
  • Straight-line speed is adequate, and he's capable of taking the ball to the house when given an open lane.
  • Remained healthy throughout his career, playing in 51 total games.
  • An intelligent player on and off the field.
  • Had a 3.9 GPA in high school and majored in economics at Vanderbilt. 

Negatives

  • Inconsistent hands are the biggest question mark in his game.
  • In five games I charted from his junior and senior year, he dropped seven balls (17.1 percent).
  • Takes a passive approach to catching the ball.
  • Lets the ball get into his chest too often, and even when he uses his hands he tends to let it come to him rather than being more assertive to put himself in the best position to make a play.
  • Seems to have a case of stone hands.
  • Too many easy catches simply bounce off his hands, even with otherwise sound technique.
  • Not very elusive in the open field.
  • He has the straight-line speed but not the agility to make defenders miss.
  • Lack of speed limits his ability to consistently get open down the field.
  • Doesn't know how to use his size to his advantage.
  • Rarely uses his body to shield the defender while making a catch in traffic.
  • Has demonstrated the leaping ability to make him dangerous in jump ball situations, but he struggles to consistently put himself in the best position to make the play.
  • Generally a willing blocker, but he's hesitant to initiate contact at times.
Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamRecYardsYds/RecTD
2010Vanderbilt1518112.14
2011Vanderbilt4177819.05
2012Vanderbilt94132314.18
2013Vanderbilt112147713.27
http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/500884/jordan-matthews

Personal Notes

  • Second cousin of Jerry Rice. 
  • 2013 Biletnikoff Award semifinalist. 
  • 3-star recruit by Rivals
  • Played receiver and defensive back in high school and intercepted eight passes as a senior. 

 

Ratings Chart

Chart created at nces.ed.goc

 

Overall

Matthews reminds me of where Keenan Allen was at this stage a season ago. Like Allen, Matthews has all the physical tools, but he never fully realized his potential in college due to the lack of talent around him. Matthews relied too much on speed and athleticism at Vanderbilt, but he won't find the same success with that approach against NFL defensive backs. In order to take his game to the next level, Matthews needs to refine his approach and learn how to use his size to his advantage. With improved technique, Matthews has the potential to be a viable second option in the NFL.

 

Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd round

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