Assassin32 back with more draft prospect analysis. Now I know that many of you think that it may be too early to think of the 2014 NFL Draft but with so many holes on the Oakland Raiders roster, it doesn't hurt to look. Last time, I made posts called "Diamond in the rough" where I analyzed NFL prospects that were under the radar from division II and division III schools. I will still be doing that but I am now adding, I guess you would call, a new addition or series to my NFL prospect posts. This will be called "Man Among Boys" where I analyze top prospects that you may not have heard of yet but you definitely should. these guys could rank anywhere between rounds 1-4 and can come from top colleges to lower ranked division I. I will not do posts on guys like Clowney, Bridgewater, or any guys with high media status like that. I will be doing top prospects that have been overshadowed and deserve recognition.
I am planning on doing a post Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I have a lot time on my hands and I enjoy doing these posts and I enjoy it more when I know you guys read them. If I see that there is a huge amount of activity with these posts, I will do more in the week. Now that my little announcement has been made, lets start off this new series with our first prospect, Jordan Matthews!
Wide Receiver, Vanderbilt
Projected 40: 4.55
projected round: 2
When it comes to size and production, this kid has it. standing at 6 foot 3 inches, 206 pounds he definitely has the size to be a mismatch in the NFL and has a great skill set and experience at the position. Coming into Vanderbilt as a true Freshman in 2010, Matthews became a starter at the season end, where he started in the final game against Wake Forest. he totaled 184 Yards on 15 Receptions with 4 Touchdowns on the year.
He massively improved his production in every statistic his sophomore year in 2011 where he emerged as the team leader in catches and receiving yards. He even had a career game where he caught 171 yards on 9 receptions against Florida.Matthews became Ranked among SEC leaders with 19.1-yard receiving avg.Matthews finished the year with 778 yards, on 41 receptions for 5 touchdowns
In 2012, he once again improved all of his numbers from last year where he had record setting numbers for Vanderbilt with 1323 yards on 94 receptions and 8 touchdowns. Matthews was a Unanimous First Team All-SEC WR by sportswriters and coaches, was named Third Team All-America and was also added to the Fred Biletnikoff Award Watch List. If you think that his numbers are a fluke because of poor opponents, think again. Matthews Opened the year with eight-catches for 147-yard performance against South Carolina. he also had eight-catches, 119 yards against Georgia and eight receptions and 131 yards against Florida. In his last three games of 2012, Matthews posted 26 catches, 415 receiving yards, four touchdowns and produced the highest receiving average in SEC games (109.6 ypg) than any league player.
Now in 2013, he is setting the bar high again, in his first 3 games, he has already totaled 395 yards on 24 receptions and 2 touchdowns. he caught 8 passes for 106 yards against South Carolina and is leading the SEC with 8 receptions a game and is second in the SEC in yards/game with 131.7.
Matthews is definitely a player to watch, not only is he a good receiver, he is tough as well,during the game against Ole' Miss, Matthews was feeling very ill that game but was still posting great numbers while being double covered during game. On one particular play, he was hit in the gut and vomited as a result on the field. he then suffered from dehydration during that game where they had to put an IV injection in him, but in spite of this, Matthews went back onto the field and made a clutch catch for Vanderbilt on a 4th and 18 to set up the game winning touchdown. Matthews finished that day with a career high 178 yards and 10 receptions
Now I like my receivers big and tall and if everything you just read was not good enough for you, I have something that might tickle your fancy. As i did more research on this kid, I found out that Matthews is actually the cousin of Hall of Famer, JERRY RICE! Yep that's right, he has the DNA of the GOAT! So if that doesn't get your blood going then I don't know what will. The kid is a class act, he was active in several leadership and community service projects and also spent 10 days on a mission trip to Africa.
The only reason this kid isn't consiered a first round prospect right now is that 4.55 speed. compared to Sammy Watkins and Marquise Lee with projected 40's of 4.40 it is easy to see why there isn't too much talk about this kid but if he can go to the combine and post a 4.4something time. he will definitely be in the running for top receiver of this class. he could very well be the number #1 receiver the Raiders need