Nov 16, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores wide receiver Jordan Matthews (87) rushes against Kentucky Wildcats safety Glenn Faulkner (18) during the second half at Vanderbilt Stadium. Vanderbilt won 22-6. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Jordan Matthews, WR Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews looks like an NFL caliber wide receiver.  He has all the the physical attributes that NFL teams look for.  That’s not surprising since his cousin in NFL legend Jerry Rice.

Jordan Matthews stands 6’3″ tall and weighs 212 pounds.  He has an excellent frame and can display a big catching radius to help out quarterbacks.  Sadly, dropped passes during his Senior Bowl, Combine and pro day performances have his stock taking a dip.  Prior to those events, he was viewed as a late first round to early second round prospect.  Now, draftniks are looking at him as a late second to early third round selection.  However, a team with a need for a reliable wide receiver with good size and consistency could take Matthews as early as round one.

Matthews looks the best on tape when he’s fearless against defenders.  Using his size and strength can be a huge advantage for him, but he doesn’t seem to do it enough.  Instead, he seems to rely on his speed and acceleration to get separation.  This isn’t his strong suit and should be something that NFL teams try to work on in Matthew’s game.

Here are his statistics over 4 years at Vanderbilt:

  • Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores wide receiver Jordan Matthews speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    51 games played

  • 262 catches
  • 3759 receiving yards
  • 24 touchdowns caught
  • 9 rushing attempts
  • 115 rushing yards
  • 1 rushing touchdown

Strengths

  • Big catch radius
  • Solid route runner
  • Above average speed
  • At his best as a physical player

Weaknesses

  • Lacks elite acceleration
  • Questionable hands
  • Needs to be more physical

Fit For The Vikings

While Minnesota isn’t necessarily looking for a starter, more depth at the wide receiver position would be nice.

My Take

I don’t see Jordan Matthews taking a spot from Jennings, Patterson, or Wright.  That puts him in competition with Jerome Simpson and Rodney Smith for backup duties.  I just struggle to see the Vikings using a high draft pick on a #4 or #5 wide receiver.

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