Bucky Brooks, Panthers' ex-scout turned analyst, has provided some very objective information on Jordan Mathews (as brought to my attention from NFL Spin Zone) Yes, many fans are drinking that Matthews Kool-Aid (for good reason), but from a technical standpoint, Matthews is going to have to prove a little more than he can just catch the ball, he is going to have to prove to scouts that he can gain separation, mainly by refining his technique at the line of scrimmage where he will be jammed by pro corners on a regular basis.
The trend of big-bodied receivers dominating the NFL will lead scouts to spend a lot of time studying Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews, but the SEC's all-time receiving leader will need to display better quickness and short-area burst in workouts to convince evaluators that he can develop into a No. 1 option at the next level. Watching Matthews throughout the week, he struggled separating from tight coverage at the top of routes. Although he would attempt to push, bang and box out defenders with his imposing frame (6-3, 206), Matthews hasn't mastered the art of using his body to create space. Additionally, Matthews needs to develop a better release against press-coverage to become a viable option on the perimeter against aggressive defenders. To his credit, Matthews was one of the most diligent workers in pre- and post-practice sessions, leading me to believe that he will carve out a nice pro career with his relentless work ethic. If he can work on the finer points of route running and separation, Matthews could outplay his draft status at the next level.
The question that I would have is if this need to refine this skill is so different from many other receivers that come out of the draft. I mean, they all need to work on something. What does this mean for some of the others in this draft class, because Matthews is regarded as being one of the most pro-ready WRs in this draft class? Though Matthews is apparently far from polished, Brooks hinted that Matthews' ceiling must be pretty high in his estimation if he said that Matthews "could outplay his draft status at the next level".
Of course, I bring all of this up because in my estimation we have had WRs who have had problems getting separation. No need to draft a "big-bodied" WR if one of his best assets is going to be nullified before he gets a couple of yards off the LOS. Luckily for Matthews, he is reportedly smart with an impeccable work ethic, so hopefully he will learn fast, as opposed to being another slow developing project on our sidelines if we call his number (particularly at 28).