Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eagles 2nd round pick Jordan Matthews review: Big, fast, physical, and competitive

In the second round, the Eagles traded their 2nd round pick (54th overall) and 4th round pick (122nd overall) to the Titans for the their 2nd round pick (42nd overall). They then selected Jordan Matthews, and it's easy to see why they like him.

Eagles 2nd round pick Jordan Matthews review: Big, fast, physical, and competitive

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(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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In the second round, the Eagles traded their 2nd round pick (54th overall) and 4th round pick (122nd overall) to the Titans for the their 2nd round pick (42nd overall). They then selected Jordan Matthews, and it's easy to see why they like him.

He's 6'3, 212 pounds, and fast (4.46 40). He's also good at getting yards after the catch, will break tackles, and is a willing blocker in the run game. At Vanderbilt, opposing defenses keyed on him, and he still put up tremendous production.

He's also a student of the game. Some players will often skip the Senior Bowl in fear that it can only hurt their draft stock. Matthews, however, not only competed, but he asked for tape of the CBs who would be in attendance so he could learn their game before he faced them all week in practice. That is what you call a competitor.

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Early in the season, Matthews had a game against Ole Miss that really showed all of his traits perfectly. The Sideline View put that game into perspective:

Many things stand out about Matthews, but one thing that really hit me occurred in the opening game of the season vs. Ole Miss.  Throughout the summer, Matthews received a ton of hype as one of the best players in the nation, not just the SEC.  In fact, heading into said opener against Ole Miss, he was truly the only weapon Vanderbilt had on offense.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the Commodores had some fine players, but without former WR mate Chris Boyd (suspended all year), Matthews was THE guy that could change the game.  Vandy knew it.  Ole Miss HAD to know it.

And, the Rebels couldn’t stop him.

He finished with ten catches for 178 yards and a touchdown.  But, in the second half of that game, he was exhausted.  He took an IV, came back in the game.  He caught a key third catch with just over two minutes left, got drilled, threw up all over the field.  He then came back four plays later and caught his tenth pass of the game on 4th and 18 for the biggest first down of the game.  But, after Ole Miss had scored to take the lead, Matthews had a pass bounce off his hands that ended up in the hands of an Ole Miss DB.  Matthews was distraught on the sideline; he thought he had cost his team the game.  Yet, Ole Miss beats Vandy by three touchdowns if Matthews didn’t completely sell out all over that field in 95 degree heat.

Here's that game, via draftbreakdown.com:

Here are the key moments from that afternoon:

Speeeeeeeed!

Catches hospital ball in traffic, then gets YAC

Catches ball in traffic, hangs on after big shot

Huuuuge play on 4th and 18

Ohhhh! The drop

As noted in our review of Josh Huff, the Eagles have drafted several players (Matthews, Huff, Zach Ertz) who struggled with drops at times in college. The Eagles may believe that's a fixable trait.

The drops aside, Matthews has the potential to be special.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

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