There is no secret that the San Francisco 49ers need a viable deep-threat. Players that can stretch the field, the 49ers find themselves in a very fortunate situation, as this year’s draft class is loaded with talent at the wide receiver position.
From WR Mike Evans to WR Allen Robinson, you can be sure the 49ers will target at least one wide receiver in the first three-rounds. However, with all the media hype focusing on WR Sammy Watkins and WR Marqise Lee, the dark horse may in fact be Jerry Rice’s cousin, WR Jordan Matthews.
A player that has the vision, speed, and athleticism to be a down field deep-threat, Matthews would be a great addition to the 49ers receiving unit. An intriguing prospect considering he would be welcomed with open arms due to being a legacy, Matthews play speaks for itself. One of five players I said to watch at this year’s Senior Bowl, Matthews did not disappoint as he finished with two catches for 38 yards including a 33-yard reception. And if that was not worthy than his stats at Vanderbilt were, as he set numerous SEC records including catches (262) and receiving yards (3,759).
Aside from stats, it’s Matthews ability to high point the ball that will make him a hot commodity. At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Matthews has the strength, explosion, and hand-eye coordination to adjust while in flight (in the air). And with great route-running and soft hands to match, Matthews will turn heads in 2014.
From the video above at the 1:10 mark you can see Matthews make a one-handed sideline catch, a play that was very similar to Jerry Rice’s one-handed sideline catch against the Los Angeles Rams. A player that is very similar to Denver Broncos WR Eric Decker and Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson look for Matthews to be overlooked in the NFL Draft, as he will likely be a great value in the second-round.
With the 49ers needing a young speed receiver with the smarts to learn the playbook, look for Matthews to be of interest as GM Trent Baalke loves to select SEC talent.