Jordan Matthews Could Be NFL's Next Great WR

He's not very well known outside of Philadelphia, but second-round pick Jordan Matthews is quietly having one of the best seasons of any rookie wide receiver. He might be just having some beginners luck, but there's more to the former Vandy star than meets the eye. Here's why 'JMatt' will be a great in Philly, and the NFL, for years to come.

1. Size + Speed

When Jordan Matthews is on the field, there's not anything that REALLY stands out on him besides the fact that he's wearing T.O.'s old number (good riddance). While he may not stand out amongst the other wide receivers, he has a few advantages over the other offensive stars. For starters, he stands at 6'3" which is three inches taller than Jeremy Maclin but the same height as Riley Cooper. Looking at his 40-time is where he really separates himself from the pack. Matthews ran a 4.46 at the combine while Maclin ran a 4.48 and Cooper ran a 4.53. Matthews matches up favorably with just about any defender, so he's all the sudden made Cooper expendable.

2. Playing Exceptional In Slot

This wouldn't be a big deal but Jordan Matthews didn't play too much slot during his time at Vanderbilt. He did dabble with the position more than an average receiver, but he truly blew out defenses on the outside. During his rookie campaign, we've seen Matthews tear apart defenses through the middle, something the Eagles have lacked in years past. Should the Eagles decide to keep Riley Cooper through next year, Matthews will do just fine in the slot. Beyond that however, I think it will be nearly impossible to keep the budding star from getting a shot on the outside.

3. Knows How To Set Up Blocks

I'm not necessarily saying he's a good blocker (which he is) i'm just saying he knows how to set up blocks when the ball is in his hands. In other words, he really excels in the screen game. Thankfully, there's a lot of that in Chip Kelly's offense. Matthews even said himself coming out of college that he was most effective with screen passes because he had a phenomenal burst yet was patient enough to let the lineman do their job. In an offense that likes to get rid of the ball quickly, Matthews will find himself in plenty of situations with fellow teammates in front of him ready to offer a helping hand... or two.

4. Set SEC All-Time Records For Receptions And Receiving Yards

This is a pretty widely known fact, but it's arguably his most solid case for why he would go onto succeed in the NFL. Take this for example: the SEC had LEGENDARY receivers who became recent NFL greats like A.J. Green, Percy Harvin, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery, and Dwayne Bowe. We know them for their jaw-dropping play, but none of them can touch Jordan Matthews' stats from college. While he may have played three years at Vandy (whereas Harvin, Green, Jones, Jeffery all played two), Bowe also played three years in the SEC. Bowe totaled 154 receptions and 2,403 yards during his time with LSU. In his three years at Vanderbilt, Matthews totaled a whopping 262 receptions and 3759 yards . Those kind of numbers are other-worldly as Matthews managed 42% more receptions than Bowe and 37% more receiving yards. Keep in mind Bowe is also one of the greatest SEC receivers of all-time, and has had lots of success so far in the NFL. If Matthews can translate his talent into the NFL as well, there's no question he'll turn into the next best young wideout.

Follow P.J. on Twitter: @PJbleedsgreen


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