The Eagles' second-round pick was more than a focal point of the Vanderbilt Commodores. He WAS the offense. Matthews finished his career as the SEC's all-time leading receiver with 262 catches for 3,759 yards and 24 touchdowns. A first-team All-SEC selection last year, Matthews had 112 catches for 1,447 yards and seven touchdowns for a 9-4 team that was only the second in school history to finish the season ranked (No. 24 in the Associated Press).
Matthews accounted for 46 percent of his team's receptions and 49.9 percent of the receiving yards. Matthews comes to Philadelphia where head coach Chip Kelly will place him as a slot receiver to start. At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, Matthews can use that big frame to win battles in the middle of the field. In his career at Vandy, Matthews had a 41 career receptions on third or fourth down which resulted in first downs.
"Every opportunity I've had in football, I've had to work for it. Nothing was ever given to me," Matthews said. "When the ball's in the air, it's mine. That's kind of my attitude whenever I go out on the field."
"It's definitely going to be a little bit different," Matthews said with a laugh. "I'm going to go in and be the best teammate I can be. I want to earn the respect of those guys, so I'm going to go in, shut my mouth and get to work."
Matthews lined up all over the formation in Vanderbilt's offense which featured a lot of bubble screens and short passes. There are a lot of similarities between what the Eagles offense and the Commodores' approach. In fact, Vanderbilt has game tape of Kelly’s offense at its facility and Matthews was able to get a head start before his official pre-draft visit.
"There's an answer for everything. If you want to go two-high, they can run it up the middle with a great running back. If you want to go one-high and leave man-to-man coverage on the outside, we have great receivers also to exploit man-to-man coverage," Matthews said. "I definitely got a taste of it, but I can't wait to divulge into the playbook."
Projected as a player who could possibly have been selected in the first round, Matthews was one of the players at Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft. Even though he had to spend a full night in the green room, it was worth it for Matthews.
"I was blessed to be put in a great position. I'm not worried about any of the picks ahead of me now. I'm ready to win and go work for the Eagles," Matthews said. "I was made for this, but I think it's just God putting me in a position to keep that chip on my shoulder. I wasn't going to get complacent, but now I'm really definitely not. It's a part of it. I'm just happy to land in a great situation."