I've been inspired by my fellow BBV members to publish my own player profile. One of my favorite players coming out in this draft is Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews. I enjoy breaking down film on wideouts more than any other position and it's become a healthy
obsession hobby over the years. Alright, enough small talk.
Jordan Matthews was only offered one scholarship, and that was after Ohio State's Bradley Roby de-committed. 4 years later, Matthews is the all time SEC leader in both receptions and receiving yards. During his 4 years, Matthews also played with 5 different starting QBs.
He's 6'3" and weighed in at the combine at 212 lbs. 33.25" arms provide a nice reach and 10 & 3/8" hands give him some nice mitts. He has a high football IQ, is incredibly tough and is an advanced route runner. All reports on him show a high character guy with good grades and high intelligence.
When evaluating film, I like to look at a player's competition first. If he's a LT, I want to see him go against a high caliber RE. For the purpose of this profile, I'll mainly be looking at Jordan Matthews against 2 teams. In addition, I will show a few examples from other competition to highlight other skills towards the end.
First up is Florida. This film is from 2012, (Matthews' junior year). He will be going up against Matt Elam (1st rounder, 32nd overall in 2013 draft), Jaylen Watkins (Projected 3rd day 2014 draft), and Marcus Roberson (Projected 3rd day 2014 draft).
Over Matt Elam
Here, Matthews is lined up in the 'skinny' slot vs Matt Elam goes up and high points. The catch isn't the greatest, but neither is the throw. He uses his body nicely to create separation, despite the shirt tug and goes up and get it.
Out Route vs Watkins
Lined up in X, simple out route vs Watkins. After catch makes proper move to gain YAC. The negative I see here is the hitch in his release. He sometimes 'rocks' backwards before exploding on his first step. The positive here is the understanding of what is going on. He's running this route with the expectation that the corner will break hard inside, and immediately turns up the sideline to avoid the tackle and gain extra yards.
Stutter Route vs Roberson
Lined up in Z, stutter route baits Roberson, out muscles shirt grab almost breaks it for 6. Advanced route plays off the aggressiveness of the corner and the repetitive hard route running of hitches and curls. Note as well, he has lined up so far in 3 different wideout slots on film. He also lines up at the 'Y' slot, though not featured on these videos. This indicates to me a high football IQ, good memory, and trust from coaching staff. (This play did draw a defensive pass interference as well.)
Gets hit too early & blown up on the return, pops up un-phased. I don't expect him to be returning punts, nor do I think it's a role where he'd excel. This film demonstrates his toughness. If you look at other games in addition, he is not scared to go over the middle or take a shot. Physical and mental toughness are not something that is taught easily, and to already have those traits is a big plus in my opinion.
NC State 2012
Only one film featured from this game, but it comes against David Amerson (2nd round, 51 overall in 2013).
Body Control vs Amerson
Lined up in Z, awareness to get to sticks and catch bad ball on 4th & 14 vs Amerson. The ball comes out with little velocity and very off target. Matthews gets low and reels in the catch, while staying ahead of the sticks.
Now these films are not against top tier competition, just examples of what Matthews brings to the table.
Perfect hitch & go route, makes tough catch after face mask. He would've been off to the races if the defender didn't grab him.
SITUATION: 4th quarter, 2:09 left, down 4 points, it's 4th and 18 on own 24 yard line. One play after being pulled for throwing up on the field after a big hit, Matthews runs a perfect route and pulls in a must have 4th and long catch. Vandy would score a TD on this drive, but somehow lost the game.
SITUATION: 4th quarter, 1:15 left, down 1 point, it's 4th and 11 on Wake 47. High points ball between two defenders on 4th and 11 to set up game winning FG.
Jordan Matthews is being projected as a 2nd/3rd round draft pick. After a very strong combine performance, including a 4.46 official 40 yard dash, I can't see him escaping the 2nd round. I personally have him ranked as the #3 overall receiver in this class and would consider him a steal in round 2 at 43.