NFL Draft: Jordan Matthews

Philadelphia Eagles draft wrap-up

May, 10, 2014
May 10
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NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

PHILADELPHIA -- A wrap-up of the Philadelphia Eagles' draft. Click here for a full list of Eagles draftees.

[+] Enlarge Jordan Matthews
Frederick Breedon/Getty ImagesThe Eagles traded up 12 spots to land Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews.
Best move: Trading up 12 spots to select Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews in the second round at No. 42 was brilliant. The Eagles were in need of a major upgrade at wide receiver, and they picked up a player who has speed and size. Matthews has the ability to catch the difficult pass across the middle, and he can run a deep route with ease. Without DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant, this was a position the Eagles had to monitor. Matthews left Vanderbilt as the SEC’s career leader in receptions (262) and yards (3,759). Look for him to make an immediate impact in the NFL. Matthews is joining a team that needs help at wide receiver. It’s the perfect fit.

Riskiest move: Drafting Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith with the No. 26 pick in the first round has to be questioned. This is a player the Eagles easily could have gotten in the second or even the third round. Smith registered 14.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss as a senior, but that was in the aftermath of a poor junior season with just four sacks. Pass-rushers are hard to find, but the Eagles could have filled another need and added Smith in the second round. Time will tell whether it was worth using a first-round pick.

Most surprising move: This is surprising in a good way here with the pick of Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff at No. 86. The Eagles took Matthews at No. 42 and could have used another big wideout. Huff is 5-foot-11, but he has speed, strength and toughness. Even though the Eagles had a major need at wide receiver, selecting them in consecutive picks was a bit surprising. Huff’s all-around talent, which includes a desire to thrive on special teams, had to be enticing for the Eagles. Returning kickoffs and punts became a problem area at the beginning of last season and didn’t get much better by the end. If Huff can adapt quickly to the NFL style, he’ll be quite valuable to the Eagles.

File it away: Taking Florida cornerback Jaylen Watkins with the first pick in the fourth round, No. 101 overall, was a solid move. Remember this pick down the road. The Eagles fielded a lot of calls from other teams but chose to keep the pick. With a major need at cornerback, this was the right move. Plus, Watkins played safety for two years at Florida, so his versatility will be an asset. Having players who can perform at multiple positions is a major bonus in the NFL. Watkins, who played with the Eagles’ Nate Allen in high school, has the speed (4.41 in the 40-yard dash) to be an effective cornerback. And he has the physical presence to be a solid safety. Allen has leadership skills and was named Florida’s captain midway through last season. Getting a player like this in the fourth round is a big-time positive.

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: 49ers 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
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In this Insider piece Insider, Todd McShay offers his latest mock draft for the first two rounds of the May draft.

Below, we will review McShay's choices for the San Francisco 49ers for the first two rounds. The 49ers have an extra pick in the second round as part of the 2013 Alex Smith trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. Insiders can see who McShay has the 49ers taking and my thoughts on his choices below.

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Lions 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
12:15
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The Detroit Lions are in the midst of a somewhat public lovefest with Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins -- a player they would certainly have to trade up for to acquire.

But until they make that trade -- if they make that trade -- the best we can project is what Detroit will do if the team stays at No. 10. And considering the Lions are not in need of a quarterback (or an offensive tackle, really), they have a bunch of options.


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MNF Review: Football speed 

December, 24, 2013
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If the 49ers don't host a playoff game and Monday night marked the end of the Candlestick era, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate ending than a dramatic win that put them into the playoffs. Here are a couple of things that came to mind watching the Monday night finale.

Inside linebacker Patrick Willis has been slowed by injuries and his production has suffered because of it, but he's still one of the best in the league, and he turned in his best performance of the year when his team needed it most, racking up 15 solo tackles.

We gave Willis a 95 coming out of Ole Miss and thought highly of San Francisco taking him with the 11th overall pick in 2007. He was an instinctive run defender who located the ball quickly, took sound angles and tackled well. While he didn't show the same kind of awareness in coverage as Carolina inside linebacker Luke Kuechly did coming out of Boston College, Willis clearly had the tools to be an every down linebacker in the NFL.

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