ESPN's Mike Sando recently came up with a fun activity of re-ranking the top 25 prospects from the 2014 NFL Draft with the help of some NFL evaluators. You need In$ider to read the entire list.
You may a little surprised to hear no Eagles players made the cut. OK, so it's no shock Philadelphia's 2014 first round pick Marcus Smith, who only played 105 snaps as a rookie, didn't make the list. But why didn't second round pick Jordan Matthews draw consideration?
A total of seven wide receivers were included on the list:
3) Odell Beckham Jr.
4) Sammy Watkins
7) Mike Evans
13) Kelvin Benjamin
14) Brandin Cooks
19) Jarvis Landry
23) Davante Adams
Let's look at how Matthews compares to those wide receivers statistically:
|Odell Beckham Jr.||22.2||130||91||1305||14.3||12||2|
It's hard to argue Matthews should be above the top three players. But after that, it's really open.
Kelvin Benjamin being as high as he is doesn't make much sense to me. There's no doubt he makes some big plays, but his stats are incredibly misleading. He was historically good in garbage time last season, when defenses weren't likely trying as hard as they could have been. Benjamin scored five of his touchdowns when the Panthers were trailing by 21 or more points in the 4th quarter. Also consider he drops a lot of passes (tied for second), commits a lot of penalties by pushing off (tied for first), isn't a great blocker, and finished near the bottom of league in YAC ability (101 out of 110 WRs). Plus, he's "already" 24 which arguably hurts his value as a prospect.
As for the mix of Cooks, Landry, and Adams ... I like them all. But they just don't match up with Matthews when it comes to the stats. I can't see how all three of them are better than him.
Of course, ESPN's list doesn't really matter. But I bring this up because I think Matthews is generally being underrated by those outside of Philadelphia. Continuing to sleep on him could be a mistake.
How would you rank Matthews with respect to his fellow class of 2014 receivers?