Jordan Matthews Rookie Expectations: A Historical Perspective on 2nd-Round Receivers

Mitchell Leff

Let's take a look at at the rookie outputs of every second-round receiver in the last 20 years.

[Hello, my name is Allen Rodriguez and this is my first post on Bleeding Green Nation. I'll be contributing pieces here but you can also read my work at BirdBreakdown and follow me on Twitter @ByAJRodriguez.]

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Much of the intrigue surrounding any new draft class revolves around the mystery of how good the players will turn out to be. The Eagles seem very high on Jordan Matthews, he has decent odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year,  and GJ Kinne has told us he's special, but will he have an immediate impact?

Tommy Lawlor and Brent Cohen were both recently speculating about what kind of numbers he'll put up this season. Last year, Noah Becker was very good about tempering expectations for Zach Ertz, so what's realistic to expect from Matthews in Year 1?

Below is a graph of all 2nd-round1 rookie receiver outputs from 1994-20132 (80 players). The Y-axis shows receiving yardage, and the X-axis gives tells you what percentage of the sample exceeded that output. So, roughly 33% of rookie 2nd-round receivers exceed 400 yards.


http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/assets/4486673/Round_2_WR_Yards.PNG

The top mark is Anquan Boldin's 1377 yards. DeSean Jackson came in at #3.

Of course, there are a number reasons to suspect Matthews is more likely to end up on the better-than-average end of the scale. For one, he has no injury history. But beyond that, he figures to have a good opportunity to earn playing time, is smart enough to learn the offense and earn the trust of the coaches quickly, has an excellent quarterback, plays in an era where teams pass more than ever, etc.

So, what are your expectations for Jordan Matthews this year?

FOOTNOTES

1- I defined 2nd round as picks 33-64. P-F-R’s Player Season finder was being glitchy and this search seemed to work better. I still actually had to filter out a bunch of undrafted guys that somehow ended up in the results. Here's the query I used.

2 – I chose this range to balance wanting a big sample with wanting to minimize the effect of relatively less potent passing offenses from earlier years. Ideally, I'd adjust the stats, similar to what Chase Stuart did here.

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