The Eagles needed some additional depth at the wide receiver spot after parting ways with Desean Jackson, and on the second night of the 2014 NFL Draft, they got it.
The Eagles traded up 12 spots – from 54 to 42 overall – to secure wide receiver Jordan Matthews out of Vanderbilt.
Matthews, a 21-year old from Madison, Alabama, is listed at 6’3’’ and 206 pounds.
As a junior at Vanderbilt in 2012, Matthews was an All-SEC selection, finishing the season with 94 receptions, 1,323 yards, and eight touchdowns.
Matthews followed up his All-SEC selection with a solid senior season, in which he was again earned an All-SEC selection. He also earned a first-team All-American for his senior season, during which he set the all-time SEC records for receptions and receiving yards. To cap off his senior season, he was named the MVP of the 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl with five receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
At the 2014 NFL combine, Matthews ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash, and showed off a 35.5 inch vertical jump. The rest of his combine numbers are below:
He has received praise for his size, and ability as a route-runner, but there are some concerns about his explosion. From NFL.com:
STRENGTHS: Good length. Big zone target. Good form as a route runner. Sinks his hips and pops out of breaks. Concentrates, tracks and adjusts. Soft hands and sticky fingers. Has leaping ability to compete in the air. Opens up his stride in the clear and shows nice long speed. Good field awareness. Gives effort as a blocker. Competes and plays with intensity. Tough and intelligent. Lined up outside and inside and has punt-return experience. Team captain and four-year starter with record-setting production.
WEAKNESSES: Could stand to bulk up his frame. Adequate line release. Fairly linear. Not a quick-twitch athlete. Does not show elite explosion to separate vertically. Lets some throws into his body and is not immune to concentration drops. Limited creativity and elusiveness after the catch. Can be moody and has some diva in him.
“[Matthews is a] balanced route-runner with a sizeable catching radius. Size allowed him to be moved inside and out in Vandy's offense, allowing the team to find him favorable matchups. Detailed and reliable route-runner. Very good hand-eye coordination to haul in tough passes, including one-handed catches. Good, but not great build-up speed and may lack an elite second gear to gain separation. Lean-muscled and needs to do more in contested situations.”
Matthews is a relative of legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice, and the Philadelphia faithful are hoping that Matthews possess a similar skill set.