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2017 NFL DRAFT
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Chris Matthews

| | College: Kentucky
 
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Overview

Matthews' lineage gives all scouts pause when considering whether he can make it at the next level; he is a cousin of the late NFL Hall-of-Fame defensive end Reggie White. Though not expected to achieve that level of greatness, Matthews' play at Kentucky the past two seasons certainly showed glimpses of the talent needed to make it at the next level.

He stayed around home to attend Los Angeles Harbor College for two years after high school. Matthews contributed heavily as a freshman (32 receptions, 529 yards, four touchdowns) before putting up JUCO All-American numbers in 2008 (80-1,235-11). His two years in Lexington followed a similar pattern, with a solid junior year (32-354-3) followed by obvious improvement in his second season (61-925-6).

Scouts will have concerns about Matthews attending junior college and a first-quarter suspension against Mississippi State in November for violating team rules. Though he needs coaching on exploding from his stance, Matthews' height, basketball hands and long strides down the sideline make him an intriguing vertical route-runner for a team looking for that deep threat.

Analysis

Positives: Tall receiver with strong hands to catch throws over the top of smaller defenders, even when challenged. Height and vertical give him a great advantage on jump balls downfield. Creates separation with the ball in the air with long arms, tracks the ball well in the air (even over his head). Defeats jam with strength and hands. Owns body control to adjust for passes while in the air. Uses head fake to sell double moves. Fair strength as a run blocker, willing to punch and extend to take smaller defenders out of the play is coming his way. Gives effort to block downfield if ballcarrier is in his area.

Negatives: Strider who takes time to get to full speed. Does not explode off the line, especially slow if challenged. Rounds speed-out and corner routes too much. Takes extra steps on stop and comeback routes, allows corners to read him. Inconsistent hands, capable of extending well outside his frame for errant throws but also loses concentration and allows throws into his body. Lack of short-area quickness allows corners playing off coverage to elude him on run blocks. Little upper-body muscle development.

--Chad Reuter

2009 Season

Played in all 13 games, starting 12 … Team's No. 2 receiver with 32 catches for 354 yards and three touchdowns … Made a splash in his first Wildcat appearance with four grabs for 57 yards and a TD vs. Miami (Ohio) … Had a season-best seven catches for 56 yards and a TD against Eastern Kentucky … Tallied a 17-yard touchdown grab in the Music City Bowl … Coaches praised him often for his dedication to blocking for running plays.

Off-Field Issues

2010: Suspended for the first quarter against Mississippi State in November for violating team rules.

Junior College

Among the nation's top 10 junior-college prospects and the No. 2 wide receiver, as ranked by Rivals.com … Tall receiver posted huge numbers at Los Angeles Harbor College … Caught 80 balls as a sophomore, good for 1,235 yards and 11 touchdowns in only nine games … His 80 receptions was tops among all 72 California junior colleges that compete in football … First-team junior-college All-America and All-California … Caught 32 passes for 529 yards and four TDs as a freshman … . Has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Coached by Andrew Alvillar and Brett Peabody … "Chris is probably the best junior-college wide receiver in the country," Peabody said. "He lives up to the saying that `big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games.' He can beat you short, he can beat you deep, he can beat you across the middle."

High School

Played tight end and defensive end at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles … Team won a city championship … Tied a school record by catching four touchdown passes in one game … Coached by Paul Knox … Also a forward in basketball, helping the team advance to the state tournament his senior year.

Personal

Born in Long Beach, Calif. … Son of Darell and Michelle Matthews … Comes from a highly athletic family … Darell played football at Lane University … Michelle played basketball at Texas Christian University … Chris is a cousin of the late Reggie White, who played his college football at Tennessee and enjoyed a long NFL career with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina … Major is community communications and leadership development.

 
 
 

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