The Eagles made it a point to search for a new wide receivers this offseason and their mission was accomplished on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft. While they scooped up a familiar face in Oregon's Josh Huff, the Eagles also traded up in the second round to grab Vanderbilt pass catcher Jordan Matthews with the 42nd overall pick. The No. 7 wide receiver on the BGN Big Board is the perfect fit for the Eagles offense and will take over the slot duties that were once occupied by Jason Avant.
A talented receiver with an impressive size-speed combination, Matthews will join Huff, Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Arrelious Benn and Brad Smith to form an intriguing wide receiver unit. After watching Matthews on tape and looking at his impressive production as the SEC's all-time leading receiver, it is easy to understand why the Eagles coveted him so much.
A product of Madison, Alabama, Matthews committed to Vanderbilt after playing both cornerback and wide receiver in high school. Matthews appeared in 12 games as a true freshman and collected 15 receptions for 181 yards and four touchdowns. As a sophomore, Matthews lead the team in catches and receiving yards, as he caught 41 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns.
Matthews broke out as a junior in 2012. He was named to the first team All-SEC by the Associated Press and coaches and was a third team All-American. He produced 94 receptions for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns. He followed that up as a senior with 112 catches for 1477 yards and seven touchdowns. Matthews was selected as an All-American by several publications, was consensus first team All-SEC and was a Blietnikoff Award semifinalist.
He was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he had two catches for 38 yards.
Weight: 212 lbs.
Hands: 10 3/8"
Arm Length: 33 1/4"
40: 4.46 seconds
Bench Press: 21 reps (tied for second most among WRs in 2014)
Vertical Jump: 35.5 inches
Broad Jump: 120.0 inches
3 Cone: 6.95 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.18 seconds
40 Yard Shuttle: 11.84 seconds
Matthews has quality speed and was used very well on screens. He has adaptable speed that allows for yards after the catch. He has big hands and can make catches in traffic. Matthews is used well on possession plays that allow him to pick up yardage as needed. He is a smart route runner and doesn't depend on his speed to get open. He is a tough pass catcher and can take a hit while bringing in the ball. He is a large target and will go up for the ball. A willing blocker, Matthews possesses the strength and intelligence to block efficiently. He was clearly the go-to receiver at Vanderbilt and lived up to that standard. He has experience being the top guy in a top conference and was a team captain.
A tall player, he runs upright. He is not all that elusive and tends to go down with ease if tackled properly. He has concentration issues, which causes drops and communication problems between Matthews and his quarterback. He tends to ask for flags a lot and expects them. His long-end speed is a bit lacking, so he will not beat defensive backs deep with regularity.
Where He Fits
Kelly has already gone on record and said that Matthews will start in the slot. He is one of the few wide receivers in the draft class that can play literally anywhere and will likely be used in that capacity. Matthews may be the most talented player in the unit and could be featured prominently fairly early in his rookie year. A smart, tall receiver with significant arm length and strength, Matthews is exactly what the Eagles want in a future No. 1 receiver.
* Ole Miss tape will make you fall in love....