(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews).
Height/Weight:6-3 / 205
Honors: Matthews was a first-team All-American in 2013, voted by *USA Today *and *Athlons, *and made second- and third-team selections from *Associated Press, Sports Illustrated *and *CBSSports. *A consensus first-team All-SEC pick, Matthews was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, for the nation's top receiver. In 2012, Matthews was also a first-team All-SEC pick and third-team All-American.
Key stat:Matthews didn't just shatter Vanderbilt school records in receiving, but left the school as one of the most accomplished receivers in SEC history. Matthews is the conference's all-time leader with 262 receptions and 3,759 yards. His 112-catch senior season is the most by an SEC receiver and his 1,477 yards was the third-highest total in conference history.
Where He's Projected:Matthews is consistently in the second round on most mock drafts. He's been as high as a late-first round pick and oftentimes in the third round.
How He Helps the Cowboys:With the Cowboys cutting Miles Austin, there could be a void for another possession receiver with speed. Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams should man the starting posts and look for Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris to have solid roles in the passing game. But another outside threat is always needed. It's unlikely the Cowboys would take a receiver unless he has tremendous value. While Matthews is likely getting picked somewhere in the second, the Cowboys might not take him unless he falls to the third, similarly to what happened last year with Williams.
Scout's Take:Really catches the ball easily. Will snatch the ball on the slant, hands are always in good position to receive the ball. Really nice job of showing body control on the out. For a player his size, there is some smoothness in the way he runs routes. Usually this is a problem for taller receivers but no issues at all. Showed good body positioning on his curl. Will take his routes all over the field, inside or outside, it doesn't matter. Plays at several different spots in the formation, smarts to know where he needs to be. Shows really good [embedded_ad]
awareness when he runs his routes, knows how to get open. Scheme he plays in, is about the quick passing game. Like Sammy Watkins, catches a ton of screens, but you will also see him take his routes down the field. Will generally catch the ball his hands. If he has a problem, it was when the ball got behind him. Thought he didn't turn well enough at times to adjust to it. Will catch balls on the moves across the field but was better when it was in front of him or on his body. Missed played a ball that was at his waist against Missouri. Surprised of his elusiveness in that Missouri game when he took a screen in and turned it into six points. Was able to make a man miss in the open field with a nice stutter move. Was expecting him to run much slower at Combine but really helped himself with his time of 4.46. Was talking with the Jacksonville coaches that were working with him and said he was super competitive and smart. Can play inside or outside in any scheme. Is different in a guy like Mike Evans that tends to only line up in one spot in the formation. Is not afraid to throw his body around as a blocker. Knows that he is bigger than most corners that he faces and will try and make them pay for getting in his way. Will be used on the edge at the point of attack as a wing or outside on the screen. Has some of those traits that complete receivers show when it comes to hands, run after catch and blocking. There is some nastiness to his game. Is the all-time leading receiver in SEC history and on tape played with a quarterback at Vanderbilt that really did him no favors. Has that Larry Fitzgerald mentality of getting after you every play. Impressive size with better than expected timed speed puts him solidly in the 2nd round. Would be a fit with Cowboys because you can move him around and would not miss a beat.
- Bryan Broaddus