Rishard Matthews

WR RISHARD MATTHEWS – NEVADA – 6-0, 217

Junior College transfer who started for 2 years at Nevada and posted big time numbers.  Was 56-879-5 in 2010 and 91-1364-8 in 2011.  Good combination of size, skill, and athleticism.

One thing that stood out while watching Matthews was his strength, upper and lower body.  He can take a hit and not be knocked off stride.  He has excellent RAC ability, partly due to this.  Matthews can catch a short pass and work his way through traffic to the open field.  He’ll run through arm tackles.  Very good when working the middle of the field.  Has the speed to get going once he has some space.  Lacks explosive speed though.  Has a bad habit of carrying the ball away from his body.  Must work on that.

Not a polished route runner, but has the potential to be very good.  Has fluid hips and cuts very well.  Hands catcher who plucks the ball naturally.  At times he will wait on the ball and let it get into his body (mainly on downfield routes).  Can get away with that in college, but not the NFL.  Effective Red Zone receiver because he makes tight cuts and is able to use his body to shield DBs from the ball.  Also not afraid to catch the ball when tightly covered.

Gifted PR.  48-551 with 2 scores in his 2 years at Nevada.  Has the ability to make the first guy miss.  Good burst when he gets into the open.

Matthews was dealing with an injury and missed the Senior Bowl.  He did work out in Indy, but wasn’t 100 percent ready.  Only ran a 4.68.  Improved that at his Pro Day.  Dropped down to 209 and ran a 4.48.  I love the fact he was competitive enough to run in Indy to see what he could do, despite being advised not to run.

Might remind you of Jordy Nelson.  Both guys were 217 pounds at the Combine.  Both had some speed and good PR skills.  I think Matthews could be excellent as part of a WR corps, but has starting ability as well.  Should go in the 3rd round.

TL

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