With the 42nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select WR Jordan Matthews from Vanderbilt. Philadelphia traded up from No. 54 with the Tennessee Titans in order to move up and get Matthews at No. 42. The Eagles gave up pick No. 122 (4th round) to move up 12 spots. BGN's Mike Kaye reported earlier on Friday that the Eagles were indeed targeting Matthews in the second round.
Matthews offers a nice combination of size (6-3, 212 lbs) and production. He's the SEC all-time leader in receiving- yards with 3759. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly attended Vanderbilt's pro day in person and was photographed talking with Matthews. Take a look at that grin!
The Eagles were clearly in the market for a new receiver ever since the team released both DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant earlier this offseason. Matthews can play on both the inside and the outside for Philadelphia. Chip Kelly announced Matthews will likely start in the slot.
Jordan Matthews scouting report via Vanderbilt SB Nation blog Heart of Gold
At 6'3" and 212 pounds, he's a large, mobile target who will match up well against the NFL's new breed of big cornerbacks. He plays faster than he looks on paper (4.46s 40-yard dash) and runs routes with precision. He found a way to build a rapport with each quarterback he had at Vandy and used that connection to repair broken plays and bring new life to the Commodore offense. In simple terms, he was the engine that powered Vanderbilt's offense in 2013.
Matthews may draw comparisons to the man whose SEC and Vanderbilt records he broke - Earl Bennett. However, Matthews is bigger and stronger than Bennett was and should have no problem producing across the field in the NFL. He has a special ability to create separation from his defenders and force open a window of opportunity for quarterbacks to take advantage of. That skill alone should earn him significant playing time on Sundays this fall.
Matthews was a standout receiver at Vanderbilt, but scouts have questioned his ability to be a true WR1 in the NFL. While his Combine numbers were solid, they fell to the middle of the pack in a draft class that is loaded with explosive receivers. JMatt doesn't have the lateral speed and innate quickness that players like Marqise Lee or Sammy Watkins have. Matthews looks like a polished, but finished, project. Other players with more potential appear likely to leapfrog him at the tail end of the first round.
Matthews has solid hands, but he was still prone to inopportune drops as an upperclassman. A disproportionate of his receptions came on swing passes, which won't be the case at the next level. Losing that aspect of his game may hurt his production at wideout. He also may lack the explosive speed needed to separate from NFL cornerbacks - but 12 career 100-yard games against SEC defenses should help quell those concerns.
Here is the Jordan Matthews spider graph.
Eagles remaining needs
Eagles remaining draft picks
1 (26) - Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville
2 (42) - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
2014 NFL Draft schedule:
Thursday, May 8 - 8:00 PM EST (Round 1 - 10 minutes per pick)
Friday, May 9 - 7:00 PM EST (Round 2 - 7 minutes, Round 3 - 5 minutes)
Saturday, May 10 - 12 PM EST (Rounds 4-7 - 5 minutes per pick)
TV schedule: NFL Network and ESPN/ESPN will televise the draft.