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August 9th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 02-21-2014, 02:03 PM   #61
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Today's combine menu: Tall wide receivers

By Gerry Dulac

Good morning from day two of the NFL combine.

Today is skill-position today, which means the quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will meet with the media. And that means several of the wide receivers the Steelers will be identifying – Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Sammy Watkins of Clemson and Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State.

The Steelers are looking for a tall wide receiver for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, someone 6-foot-3 or taller. And that could point to Evans a 6-foot-5, 225-pound former basketball player who was the big-play receiver for quarterback Johnny Manziel.

But Benjamin, who caught the winning touchdown in Florida State’s national championship victory against Auburn, is another big target at 6-foot-5, 232 pounds. Like Evans, who was a redshirt sophomore, Benjamin is an underclassman – one of a record 102 in this year’s draft.

Watkins is probably the best wide receiver in the draft, but he lacks the measurables of Evans and Benjamin. Watkins is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds.

However, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said a receiver doesn’t have to be tall to play big, and he cited Anquan Boldin as an example.

Another possibility is Penn State’s Allen Robinson, an athletic receiver (6-foot-2 5/8, 220 pounds) with great body control and hands. Robinson will surely be available when the Steelers pick at No. 15 and will probably last until the bottom of the first round.

http://sportsblogs.post-gazette.com/...s/201402210002
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:37 PM   #62
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews feels he's fast enough for NFL



Former Commodore wants to be best overall wide receiver in the NFL Draft

Feb. 21, 2014
Written by Jim Wyatt

INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Matthews holds the SEC records for career receptions, career receiving yards and catches in a single season.

During the course of his career at Vanderbilt, no one ever questioned his work ethic, leadership, determination or hands.

Yet here at the NFL Combine, one question has caught up to him: Is he fast enough for the NFL?

Matthews is quick out of the gate with his answer: “I’ll just say this: When I’ve had the ball in my hands, I’ve never been caught.”

Despite racking up monster numbers for the Commodores — 262 receptions, 3,759 yards and 24 touchdowns — Matthews is nowhere to be found among the top wide receiver rankings for the NFL Draft on May 8-10.

NFL Network’s Matt Mayock doesn’t have Matthews in his top five receivers. Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net has Matthews ranked eighth. Rob Rang of CBSSports.com has the SEC’s all-time most productivewideout deep on his list.

“I’ll be stunned if he’s among the first five or six receivers drafted,” Rang said.

Why? Because NFL teams are looking for receivers with rockets attached to their cleats, and they’re skeptical about Matthews’ straight-line speed.

Matthews, who has been training in Phoenix since the end of the season in hopes of improving his speed, is keeping his 40-yard dash times a secret for now. He’ll run the 40 with the rest of the receivers here at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.

Rang predicted Matthews would run in the mid-4.5 range. Other analysts see it closer to 4.6.

Said Matthews with a smile: “I am not going to throw out any numbers. I am just going to run.”

He stressed, however, that his time in the 40 shouldn’t define him.

“I just want to go out there and prove I am the best overall wide receiver in the entire draft. Someone can be the fastest, but I want to be the best overall. That is what I plan to prove,” Matthews said. “No disrespect to any of the other guys, but I believe in myself. I feel like I am the best wide receiver any team could pick for a long-term prospect. … And at the end of the season, I want to be in the discussion about being the best player drafted.”

Favoring the fleet

NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis, a former University of Tennessee safety, cited numbers that suggest speed is overrated for a wide receiver.

According to the NFL, 15 receiver prospects have run a sub-4.40 in the 40-yard dash in the last five years. Of those 15, Mike Wallace is the only one to produce a 1,000-yard season (2010 and 2011).

Wallace, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Johnny Knox are the only three to have even reached 1,000 career receiving yards.

The receiver with the fastest 40 last year, Marquise Goodwin (4.27), posted 17 receptions for 283 yards and three touchdowns for the Bills.

“Jerry Rice wasn’t supposed to be able to run,” Davis said of the Hall of Famer, who happens to be Matthews’ second cousin. “If there are any tiebreakers with Jordan Matthews involved, I know he is going to win them. The guy is tough. He will go into the briar patch, take his hits and keep on ticking. I never worry about that part with him. He is not afraid to run the inside routes.

“People are going to want to know what he runs, but I think he's a big-time prospect. And just because you run a sub 4.4, it doesn’t make you a great receiver.”

Titans general manager Ruston Webster said while 40-yard dash time can’t be ignored when evaluating prospects, it shouldn’t tell the whole story.

“The guy is heck of a player and eventually you have to look at the film and see what he has done and give him credit for what he has done. He is a very good receiver,” Webster said. “He is competitive, he is tough. He has a lot of positive traits — a good route runner, good hands.

“It’s funny, because with receivers you always talk about speed. You should be talking about the hands first. The first thing you have to do is catch the ball, and Jordan Matthews can do that.”

Matthews has the biggest hand size (10 3/8 inches) of all the wide receivers at the combine.

Crushing his critics

This isn’t the first time Matthews has been doubted.

Vanderbilt was the only college to offer him a scholarship, and that wasn’t until after another player had decommitted. More than likely, that kept Matthews from walking on at Mississippi State.

He’s gone from a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior at Madison Academy in Alabama to a 6-3, 212-pound NFL prospect. He never missed a game at Vanderbilt and his work ethic impressed observers at the Senior Bowl last month.

Rang, however, came away less convinced that Matthews has NFL stardom in his future.

“There’s always been the question about whether he had the ‘juice’ … to be able to gain separation and beat guys over the top, and you just didn’t see it,” he said. “He’s a pro’s pro, no doubt, but he doesn’t have elite athletic ability. I think he is going to end up being a solid NFL player, but I don’t think he is a sure-fire NFL starter. … I think he is in the middle of the second round to the middle of the third round.”

As for which round he might be picked, Matthews said he isn’t concerned. Just like the song he sang after Vanderbilt wins last season — “Ain’t Worried About Nothin” — Matthews said his priority is being the best he can be.

When he has time to get away from football for a bit, Matthews is reading “The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama and “The Mentor Leader” by Tony Dungy.

“There will always be people doubting me. It is going to be with me for the rest of my career. I have been slept on, had people tell me that I should’ve just tried to play basketball, that I was too skinny. But I always kept working,” Matthews said.

“Where you get drafted is great, but it’s really about what you do when you get on a team. When this week is over, I want people to say, ‘That dude is the hardest working receiver in the draft, and he is going to be the best at season’s end.’ ”

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...nclick_check=1
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:04 PM   #63
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Mike Evans should drop to 15. If he is there, take him. This will be one of the deepest drafts in a while. Get the difference makers. Get Big Ben a tall reciever he can throw deep too so doesnt have to worry about being dead on accurate.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:08 PM   #64
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Jordan Matthews is definitely a guy I'd look hard at in round 2 if we pass on the Round 1 receivers. He'd be a first round pick if this wasn't such a ridiculously strong, top-heavy wideout class littered with physical freaks. Matthews doesn't have the freakish athleticism of Watkins, Evans, Benjamin, and Robinson but is the definition of a solid, tough receiver who finds a way to get the job done every time.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:05 AM   #65
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

I know that it's important how well a guy plays WR in football, but I think it tells you a lot about a player when you can see how athletic and explosive a guy is while playing different sports...particularly basketball. Here's a highlight reel of Allen Robinson playing basketball. Just look at the hops and athleticism this guy has. This is the stuff that translates to on-the-field success, and helps show you things that go beyond a players 40 yd dash time.



Anyone else find film of freakish athleticism in other sports by any of the top wide receiver prospects? I love watching these guys play basketball. Basketball shows you ball skills, hands, reaction time, quickness, leaping ability, fighting to high point a ball, and a bunch of other things that translate well to a football field.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:41 AM   #66
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

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Originally Posted by pczach View Post
I know that it's important how well a guy plays WR in football, but I think it tells you a lot about a player when you can see how athletic and explosive a guy is while playing different sports...particularly basketball. Here's a highlight reel of Allen Robinson playing basketball. Just look at the hops and athleticism this guy has. This is the stuff that translates to on-the-field success, and helps show you things that go beyond a players 40 yd dash time.



Anyone else find film of freakish athleticism in other sports by any of the top wide receiver prospects? I love watching these guys play basketball. Basketball shows you ball skills, hands, reaction time, quickness, leaping ability, fighting to high point a ball, and a bunch of other things that translate well to a football field.
I agree especially if we're looking for the heir apparent for Heath Miller. I'd like to find that diamond in the rough. the 6-foot-5 power forward , who is a freak athletically , strong and powerful , soft hands , and a quick first step.

this will be your Julius Thomas type. a guy that's gotta tight end body , but his basketball skills won't quite translate to the NBA. this guy can be harvested in the 4th round or later ... perhaps even as an undrafted free agent.

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Old 02-22-2014, 06:47 PM   #67
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell:

#Steelers have interviewed Benjamin, Moncrief, Ebron and last night Allen Robinson. But not Mike Evans. Lol. Maybe Evans is their guy?

https://twitter.com/jimwexell
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:05 AM   #68
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Hes not a tall WR but this statement sound pretty good




Jarvis Landry "fears being average"

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Old 02-23-2014, 01:54 PM   #69
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

I was very impressed my Mike Evans today. Might not even be there at 15
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:18 PM   #70
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

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I was very impressed my Mike Evans today. Might not even be there at 15
He may have solidified himself as a top 10 pick in this combine. Tampa, Buffalo, Tennessee and the Giants all have needs at receiver. I'm lukewarm on the idea of Evans at 15 anyway, but I doubt he'll be there.
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