Kiper: Eagles ‘Hit The Jackpot With Matthews’

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call Thursday and praised the Eagles selection of Jordan Matthews last year. Despite hitting on that pick, he thinks that wide receiver is the Eagles number one priority going into draft night on April 30.

Kiper explained that the Eagles’ stockpile of bodies at the cornerback position doesn’t make that hole as much of a need as some other places.

“The put themselves in a position with [Byron] Maxwell coming in, with [Walter] Thurmond coming in, that they don’t have to take the cornerback early on,” Kiper said. “They’re a team right now that could go several directions. You think about if they want an offensive linemen, an outside linebacker, if you want a receiver, I think that could be a possibility now for them, wide receiver.”

Kiper is very optimistic about the future Matthews.

“If Matthews continues to develop, he’s an elite receiver, he’s a number one,” Kiper gushed. “They hit the jackpot with Jordan Matthews, he should’ve been a one. We talked about that, if you flipped Matthews with [first round pick Marcus] Smith, it would have been a little bit better. Chip took exception to that, but that was my feeling. Matthews should’ve been a one and Smith shouldn’t have been a one.”

Matthews hauled in 67 catches in his rookie campaign for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. Smith, on the other hand, struggled to get on the field all season and was pressed into action at inside linebacker after the position was depleted by injuries.

Kiper went on to explain that the Eagles should have no problem finding a receiver they like at 20. Guys like Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong and USC’s Nelson Algohor could be possibilities and both have visited the NovaCare complex in the past few weeks.

Gil Brandt of seems to think Kelly is honing in on wide receivers.