Jordan Matthews was not in high demand in 2010, when he signed a football scholarship with Vanderbilt University.
That was not the case Friday night, as Matthews continued the run of promising receivers getting selected in the 2014 NFL draft. The former three-star prospect was taken by the high-octane Philadelphia Eagles in the second round as the 42nd overall selection.
"The first thing you do is look at his numbers, and they are off the chart," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said in a news conference. "He is the leading receiver in SEC history. He's 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds and ran a 4.46 at the combine. He's got a great wingspan and vertical jump, and he's an intelligent kid.
"He graduated from college in three and a half years, and we're really, really excited to get him."
Matthews racked up 112 catches for 1,477 yards last season to cap a career that included 262 receptions for 3,759 yards. He became the seventh receiver selected and followed a first-round flurry that contained Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans, LSU's Odell Beckham, Oregon State's Brandon Cooks and Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin.
Southern Cal's Marqise Lee was the sixth receiver picked, going 39th overall to Jacksonville.
When asked what separated Matthews from some of the other elite receivers, Kelly said, "He can catch the ball in traffic. He made a ton of contested catches."
Friday's second round began with the Houston Texans selecting UCLA guard Xavier Su'a-Filo. Matthews was the first Southeastern Conference player taken in round two, and not far behind him was Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, who went 44th overall to the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo ran the ball 543 times last season, more than any team in the league.
"That's great for me," Kouandjio told Buffalo's team website. "I take pride in running the football, and I take pride in run blocking and taking a man against his will in a direction that he does not choose."
LSU had three players selected in the second round, with defensive tackle Ego Ferguson going 51st overall to Chicago, running back Jeremy Hill 55th to Cincinnati and receiver Jarvis Landry 63rd to Miami. Missouri had two second-round picks, with defensive end Kony Ealy going 60th to Carolina and tackle Justin Britt going 64th to Seattle.
Auburn tailback Tre Mason, who powered the Tigers to last season's SEC title behind 304 rushing yards against Missouri in the Georgia Dome, was selected in the third round by the St. Louis Rams. He was the 75th overall pick and will be reunited with tackle Greg Robinson, who was the second overall pick in Thursday's first round.
Rounds four through seven will be held today, and hoping to have their names called sooner than later are a trio of SEC quarterbacks: Alabama's AJ McCarron, Georgia's Aaron Murray and LSU's Zach Mettenberger.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...