When the Philadelphia Eagles released star wide receiver DeSean Jackson earlier this offseason, fans of the team let out a collective groan. After all, the team had just released one of the most dangerous players in teh league and had no clear replacement plan on the roster. However, the Eagles found Jackson’s replacement in the 2014 draft, and he comes in the form of former-Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews.
Now, I won’t pretend that Matthews is anywhere close to being the type of athlete Jackson was — that’s just not the case. That said, Matthews is no slouch in the athleticism department. With a 4.46 40-yard dash time and a 10-foot broad jump, Matthews certainly has NFL-caliber athletic ability. When you throw in the fact that he also has great size at 6-foot-3, 212-pounds and a willingness to make the tough catches in traffic, it’s easy to see why Matthews is held in such a high regard.
That said, Matthews isn’t a perfect player either. The one weakness in Matthews’ game that sticks out in particular is his lack of top-end speed. Whereas Jackson excelled at blowing away opposing corners with his speed, Matthews just lacks that sort of elite speed, and that may end up preventing him from joining the NFL’s upper-tier of receivers.
Overall, Matthews looks primed to replace Jackson as QB Nick Foles‘ favorite target in the passing game. Matthews is going to provide the team with a tough, reliable target, and I fully expect him to make both the team and fans forget all about Jackson.