Rookie receiver Jordan Matthews will have a chance to contribute right away. The question is how good he can be as a rookie. Some feel that rookie receivers are more likely to struggle than contribute. Eagles blogger Allen Rodriguez decided to see how things look from a historical perspective.
Here’s what he found.
Below is a graph of all 2nd-round1 rookie receiver outputs from 1994-2013 (86 players). The Y-axis shows yardage, and the X-axis3 gives tells you what percentage of the sample exceeded that output. So, roughly 33% of rookie 2nd-round receivers exceed 400 yards.
The high mark on that graph is Anquan Boldin (1377 yards). DeSean Jackson (912 yards) was third.
Now, of course there are reasons to suspect Matthews is more likely to end up on the better-than-average end of the scale. For one, he has no injury history. But more so, he figures to have a good opportunity to earn playing time, is smart enough to learn the offense and earn the trust of the coaches quickly, has an excellent quarterback, plays in an era where teams pass more than ever, etc.
Go check out his post for some additional info.
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Pro Football Focus had one of their Fantasy Football experts post his stat projections for the Eagles. I’ll post a couple of them.
Matthews is a hot name in the dynasty fantasy football community, and for good reason. His measurables are good, his production was good, he has good size, good speed, great hands, and an incredible work ethic. The Eagles have already named him as the starter in the slot, which can create a lot of matchup problems for opposing teams. Expect Matthews to be one of the better rookie wide receivers in year one.
PFF Fantasy projections: 38 catches, 492 yards and four touchdowns for 114 fantasy points, or WR74. Currently, Matthew’s ADP is 152.5 as the 60th wide receiver taken.
Foles had a year for the ages last season. In just 10 starts, Foles threw for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns to go along with just two interceptions. He led the NFL in touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, and passer rating. While some believe that that was all Chip Kelly, that is irrelevant to fantasy football. Foles has 16 career starts, as he had six under Andy Reid, and has totaled 4,590 yards and 33 touchdowns through the air and 263 yards rushing with four touchdowns on the ground. Can he keep it up? He should be able to, now going into his first year as the starter and second year under Kelly, he could be one of the top five quarterbacks in fantasy football yet again.
PFF Fantasy projections: 3,886 yards, 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 240 yards rushing with five rushing touchdowns for 321 fantasy points, or QB4. Foles is projected to be a top-tier QB, and should be a QB1 in your league. Currently, his ADP sits at 66.17, as the seventh quarterback drafted.
Maclin signed a one-year deal for this season, but both he and the Eagles have expressed interest in a long-term contract. Last year, Maclin missed the entire season due to injury, but he is out to prove that he is a top receiver, and in Kelly’s offense, that could be a dangerous combination. Two years ago, Maclin caught 69 passes for 857 yards and seven touchdowns. With the loss of DeSean Jackson, he could be the top receiver on the team, but will he be able to stay healthy and consistent?
PFF Fantasy projections: 58 catches for 780 yards and six touchdowns for 173 fantasy points, or WR46. Maclin’s ADP is currently 66.83 as the 31st wide receiver off the board.
I’m not a big FF guy, but these analysts and writers do their research. They aren’t just throwing poop against a wall. 38-492-4 seem like reasonable expectations to me.
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Those numbers would exceed the 2013 stats of Jason Avant, the man Matthews is mostly replacing. Avant went 38-447-2 last year.
Some of you asked about how a big WR like Matthews can play the slot. Isn’t that the home for smaller, quicker guys? Not necessarily.
Calvin Johnson got moved to the slot a lot in 2013. The Lions obviously felt it would be tougher to contain Johnson if he worked the middle of the field. Johnson is a freak and can play anywhere, but the point is that big guys can work the slot. You need players than are comfortable in traffic. Smaller guys can use quickness to get open. Big guys use muscle to fight through contact and give the QB a target.
Former Vanderbilt star Earl Bennett was a good slot receiver for the Bears. He was 6-1, 205. Heck, Avant was 6-1, 210.
Matthews is talented enough to play outside. You’ll see him there some this year, but for now Chip Kelly will use him inside and leave Mac and Coop out wide in most sets.
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Need a good laugh? Brandon Lee Gowton put together some of Beau Allen’s best tweets. Hilarious stuff.
Why doesn't Subway sell Cookie dough???
— Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) April 12, 2014
I love Subway cookies. This is a very relevant question. I get the feeling that Allen is the kind of smart, but weird big guy that John Madden would love.