Prospect Focus: WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Jordan Matthews is one of the best senior prospects regardless of position in this entire draft class. He has outstanding body control and rare ball skills with the ability to haul in contested throws as well as make one handed catches consistently.
A multi-sport athlete in high school, Matthews helped Madison Academy to a state title in 2007 and a runnerup finish in 2008-09 as a standout on the basketball team. He was a three year starter for the football team and ended his prep career with 181 receptions, 3,218 receiving yards and 38 TD catches.
Matthews has been a difference maker since day one at Vanderbilt, racking up 15 receptions for 181 yards and four touchdowns as a true freshman. He saw action in every game, worked his way into the starting lineup by season's end and was able to registered four consecutive TD catches in each of his last four games.
As a sophomore, he had 41 receptions for 778 yards with five touchdowns as the primary target and last year he finished the season with record setting 87 receptions for 1,262 yards and seven touchdowns earning first team All-SEC honors. He finished 2012 as the Commodores' all-time single-season leader with 1,323 receiving yards and also tied the second highest receptions total in SEC history with 94 catches.
HANDS: One of the best natural pass catchers in this class with the high level of concentration, focus and hand eye coordination he possesses. Locates the football so quickly and adjust his body at an instant. He has very strong hands and is able to fight cornerbacks on contested passes.
ROUTE RUNNING: A very fluid mover with accurate footwork to make his cuts sharp, Matthews gets open with both quickness and understanding of coverages. An assignment sound player, he does a great job spacing and setting his breaks up but also has the awareness on a broken play to come back to his quarterback.
AFTER THE CATCH: While not hyper explosive, Matthews has the straight line speed and suddenness needed to break a play open if given an angle because of his long strides. He has the acceleration, running strength and vision to be a threat on end arounds as well as bubble screens.
BLOCKING: Matthews is very physical in the run game and has the core strength as well as the willingness to be a very effective blocker at the next level. A real team player, he is always upfield trying to make a play instead of being an observer when a the playcall isn't dialed up for him.
INTANGIBLES: He has NFL bloodlines, as he is the cousin of NFL legend Jerry Rice. Active in several leadership and community service projects, Matthews spent 10 days on mission trip to Africa and also plays the piano. He is a high character, team first type of player that is completely unselfish.
2014 OUTLOOK: Matthews will retain his partner in crime opposite him in junior wide receiver Chris Boyd (50 receptions, 774 yards, 5 TDs in 2012) and the graduation of senior QB Jordan Rodgers should be negated by senior Austin Carta-Samuels, who had 26 starts at Wyoming before transferring to Vanderbilt in 2011. The coaching staff remains intact so a repeat performance is not out of the question but regardless of how the Commodores' season goes, Jordan Matthews will be firmly entrenched in the second day of picks and in the Top-100 conversation for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Career Rushing/Receiving Stats
Joe Everett is an NFL Draft + College Football Analyst for NFLDraftBible.com and is also a featured writer + IDP statistician for InsiderFootball.com. Member of the Pro Football Writers of America + the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on twitter: @RookieDraft