Sleeper Jordan Matthews WR 2014 NFL Draft

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Jordan Matthews 2With the draft nearly a month away, everyone is looking the next big sleeper. Someone that nobody is talking about and that every team will more than likely have the opportunity to take. In such a deep group of wide receivers, Jordan Matthews has seemingly been overshadowed by his counterparts. Personally, I cannot understand why. After doing in depth analyses on many of the top rated players at each position, Matthews stuck out the most to me as someone who was not rated highly on most peoples boards. I immediately thought of Matthews as one of the top receivers who could have an immediate impact and be effective for any team for years to come. Before I get into too much detail about my man crush on Matthews, let’s look at some statistics from his college career and the combine.


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Measurables:
Height: 6’ 3”
Arm Length: 33 ¼”
Weight: 212 lbs
Hands: 10 3/8”

College Statistics (Junior/Senior Year):
2012: 94 receptions – 1323 yards – 8 Touchdowns
2013: 112 receptions – 1477 yards – 7 Touchdowns

Combine Statistics:
40 yard dash time: 4.46 s
Vertical Jump: 35.5
Broad Jump: 10”
225 Bench Press: 21 Reps

Pro Day at Vanderbilt University - Vanderbilt football. Photo by Joe Howell

Eagles head coach, Chip Kelly meets with Jordan Matthews at Vanderbilt’s pro day.

While I don’t put too much weight into statistics, I want to post them to reinforce some of what I saw on film. Jordan Matthews has set plenty of records at Vanderbilt. Along with breaking multiple Vanderbilt records, he finished his career as the SEC all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards with 262 receptions and 3,759 receiving yards. This is a pretty impressive record to hold in one of the most competitive conferences in College football.

While Matthews was expected to run a somewhat slow 40 yard dash, he proved the naysayers wrong by running a 4.36 40. Only 0.3 seconds slower than the consensus number one receiver Sammy Watkins. Since most experts and critics thought he would run somewhere around 4.6, I expected a huge surge on Matthews to happen. It didn’t. He may be creeping up draft boards secretively but not amongst analysts.

Like I said, his game is not centered around being a speedy receiver but some of the catches he made in college shows that he doesn’t need to be as fast as Brandin Cooks to be a deep threat.  Matthews catching radius, large hands, and long arms gives him the ability to make spectacular catches without requiring much separation.

Matthews sat on most of his times from the combine at his pro day. With scouts from 29 of the 32 teams at Vanderbilt’s pro day, Matthews may be getting looked at more than most people are expecting. Two head coaches were present at his pro day including Philadelphia Eagles head Coach Chip Kelly as well as Ken Whisenhunt, the Tennessee Titans Head Coach.

I don’t expect Matthews to get out of the first round as most mock drafts have predicted. I have Matthews rated as my number three receiver right under Watkins and Evans. The draft is full of surprises and I will not be shocked if Matthews is selected in the middle of the first round. If he makes it to the second round, I feel he will be one of the biggest steals in the the 2014 draft class.

Follow me on Twitter @Gohlmeyer and check out my NFL draft player evaluations below.

NFL Draft Prospects – Positional Evaluations:
Offense: QB/WR/RB/TE/OT/G-C
Defense: CB/S/ILB/OLB/DE/DT
See my big board of top 50 prospects here

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6 Comments

  1. Larry Jilton (Rednecks)

    March 29, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Sleeper? This is for whatever reason, a top WR that seems to have slipped only in the mind of writers/scouts lately. Jordan Matthews is an absolute stud and anyone that thinks otherwise isn’t paying attention. If his draft value drops that just makes him more of a value to those who know just how good he really is and takes him in their draft. I’m one of those people. He is good enough in my personal opinion to be an all pro WR in 2-3 years.

    • Garrett Ohlmeyer

      March 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      That’s what I’m saying. Most “experts” have Matthews ranked as their number 7 or 8 receiver. It doesn’t make any sense to me. If he drops to the 2nd round like most mock drafts predict, he would be considered a pretty big sleeper though in my book.

  2. Christopher Milian

    March 29, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I love this guy for the Redskins. I think it’s very possible he goes in the first round, but hopefully not for the Redskins’ sake. A lot of Redskins fans would prefer a prospect like Kelvin Benjamin over Jordan Matthews. I say no. Matthews is the much safer pick out of the two. Now that DeSean Jackson is not in Philly anymore, I expect them to go after a Wide Receiver with their first pick. Could it be Matthews? Quite possible, and it wouldn’t be good for the rest of the NFC East. Thank you for writing an article on this guy.

    • Garrett Ohlmeyer

      March 29, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      No problem man. I could see it happening. That is about where he is projected to go. I don’t know if Washington feels they are solid at wide receiver after giving Andre Roberts a hefty contract, but Matthews would certainly help.

  3. Aussie61

    March 30, 2014 at 12:10 am

    While i agree with your assessment,the biggest problem for Jordan Matthews is that the Receiver pool is very deep,so teams may want to address another position where the talent pool is thinner before taking a WR.The thinking being that if you don't get Matthews,then the next guy on the board is still a pretty good Receiver.

  4. Diesel44

    March 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    a lot of players have slipped into the nfl under the radar and made the hall of fame so who knows?

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