NEW YORK – Jordan Matthews fits the Chip Kelly receiver prototype, big, fast, tough, productive. Oh, and the 42nd overall pick in Friday night's draft boasts the richest of bloodlines.
Matthews is a cousin of NFL royalty, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, only the best receiver ever.
Small wonder why the Philadelphia Eagles coach forked over a fourth-round pick to the Tennessee Titans in order to snare the former Vanderbilt receiver in exchange for the No. 54 and 122 overall picks as the replacement for now Washington Redskins 5-10 receiver DeSean Jackson.
Matthews joins Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper in a formidable trio of Eagles receivers.
"Coach Kelly was at my pro day," Matthews said. "The stars aligned. I'm able to go to a great situation.
"It was the ultimate blessing. God had a plan for me. I spent a long time in that green room yesterday. But I couldn't ask for a better situation and a better place to be."
Matthews established an SEC record for receptions (262) and receiving yards (3,759), finishing his four-year career with 24 touchdowns.
He is a fluid route runner who last season registered 112 catches for 1,377 yards and seven touchdowns.
A strong, sure-handed target at 6-3, 212, Matthews has excellent high-point skills and is faster than his legendary relative with a 4.46-second clocking in the 40-yard dash.
And though he wants to carve his own niche, Matthews owes a lot to Rice.
"He's had a huge influence on me, it's not even the times we actually talk, it's just being the guy he is and the type of player that he is that I was able to watch on film from the days when I was a child," Matthews said of Rice. "Being able to have a guy like that in your family as a role model and an example, I definitely try to model my game after him and try to add some of his things to my game."
Asked to describe himself as a receiver, Matthews even sounded like Rice.
"Competitive – hard working and it's really that competitiveness that drives me in stuff like my route running, hands and speed," Matthews said. "It all starts with being competitive.
"I want to be the first one in, the last one out. I want to win every sprint. I want to be the greatest when it all comes down to it."
Matthews was asked what it was like putting his head on the pillow Thursday night having gone undrafted in the first round, knowing the über-competitor he is.
"It was definitely a sour feeling," Matthews said. "But at the same time I'm tailor made for this.
"I wasn't heavily recruited out of high school. I got my first offer on Christmas Eve after I was completely done with high school football.
"My mother said, 'Hey, Christmas comes in the morning.' She was right.
"We're going to go in tomorrow and I've got to make the most of it."
Matthews is much more than a possession receiver.
"Jordan is a heck of a receiver, a great route runner who has a lot of confidence," former Dallas Cowboys personnel guru Gil Brandt told USA TODAY Sports. "I invited him to New York and thought he'd be drafted in the first round. I told him, 'It just might be the second, though.' He said, 'That's OK, I want to be there.' "
Brandt still kicks himself for missing the chance to select Matthews' cousin when he came out of Mississippi Valley State, the 16th overall pick in 1985.
"Jerry ran a 4.57, 40," Brandt said. "One of our scout's loved the guy. He wrote an eight-page scouting report. We were a little lackadaisical and New England traded him to the San Francisco 49ers."