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