Jordan Matthews   WR   Vanderbilt

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Jordan is a smooth receiver with a long stride that allows him to keep his hands steady and catch balls effortlessly with soft hands. He has excellent athleticism and can adjust to the ball in the air to make the tough catch with a defender on him. He is smart, works well with his quarterback on reading defenses and adjusts his route to the defense. He is proud and wants to win, but at the same time realizes itís a team game and he is part of a team. This attitude to help other players around him to be better is the character and attitude you want to draft on your team. Jordan has that sneaky ability to get open when you need a big play in the passing game. He will go over the middle and take the big hit to move the chains; inside the red zone, he is a weapon. He looks on film to be a quality ready player for the next level and the type of player every team needs to have a type of passing game that will take you all the way.

CONCERNS
Jordan runs excellent routes, but runs them all at the same speed. In fact, he runs faster after the catch or to get to a ball that seems to be out of his reach than he runs most of his routes. He will make catches deep because he uses his body against the defender or other NFL tricks, but at the next level, he will have to run his routes, changing speeds to get free deep. He is strong but will have to build up his upper body to handle the more physical defensive backs in the red zone and will have to improve the strength in his hands to secure and fight for the ball in the air when in the red zone. I have no doubts that Jordan will accomplish and improve on these issues because of his strength of character and intangibles.

BOTTOM LINE
Jordan reminds me a lot of Broncos WR Eric Decker. He has a smooth stride, sure hands and is smart. His ability to separate will decide if he will be a #1 WR who impacts no matter who the quarterback is, or a #2 WR who needs to be used more in the slot or on the move to gain separation. Right now his college team uses him all over the field, but Jordan does most of his damage as a slot receiver in the middle of the field moving the chains and as a wide receiver in the red zone where he can use his body and hands to impact and make great catches. Drafting quality players is the key to a good draft and Jordan is a quality player and the type of player I would draft early, but others might feel differently because he is not a speed burner or the type of receiver that looks right now that he will get deep against man coverage. Everyone wants to draft a 6í4 220 lb receiver with 4.30 speed. Those are franchise receivers no doubt but they are also not many of them out there and that size and speed doesnít mean they will make it in the NFL. Jordan will make it and impact because he knows how to play the game and that makes up for the lack of 4.30 speed. For Jordan, his combine numbers will dictate what round he most likely will be selected in for most teams. For me I see a player on film who will impact no matter what his numbers are at the combine.

Drew Boylhart
Dec/2013