Positives: Matthews has a great combination of size and athleticism. He is listed at 6’5”, 218 pounds and ran a listed 4.57 40 yard dash. He is a long strider and has deceptive deep speed, and he uses his body very well to shield defenders from the ball to make the catch. He has very strong hands, can make tough catches in traffic and high points the ball well with his impressive leaping ability. Because of his size and leaping ability he is a very legitimate red zone threat, and he is good at coming down with jump balls. He has shown some ability to create separation as a route runner and he catches the ball well away from his body. He will occasionally make a guy miss and cover some ground with his long strides for YAC. He also offers some effort as a run blocker and flashes some nastiness in this area which I like.
Negatives: Matthews isn’t ever going to be much of a route runner in the NFL in my opinion which will make it significantly harder for him to create consistent separation at the next level. He will have lapses at times in concentration and drop passes that he should catch. He can also be a bit of a hot head and will shove opposing players after the whistle has been blown which can (and has) drawn costly penalties. He is definitely going to be a possession receiver in the NFL because he isn’t very quick or elusive in the open field and doesn’t run through tackles that well despite his size.
Overall: Matthews has potential as a possession receiver and I think his ceiling is a solid #2 but I think he will probably end up being a solid #3 or #4 guy in the NFL. He is reliable on 3rd downs and shields defenders away from the ball well enough that he should be effective in these situations in the NFL also. He will also be a very good red zone threat because of his size, leaping ability and hands. He will be tough to beat on fade routes against smaller corners, and that gives him enough value to stick on a roster in my opinion. He may not ever be a very good starter, but I think he can be a solid NFL contributor.
Projection: 6th-7th round. He may go a bit later than this and he may go undrafted but it’s tougher to find guys with his size, athletic ability and hands than you might think it is. He has plenty of ability and if he gets coached up he can definitely stick in the NFL.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 2.0
Body Control: 3.5
Thanks for reading!