SEC’s top 25 players of 2013: No. 15 Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews

SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 15: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (SR)

2012 stats: 94 catches for 1,323 yards and eight TDs
2013 Projected stats: 85 catches for 1,200 yards and 10 TDs

Why he’s worthy: Vanderbilt’s best offensive weapon comes in the form of one of the most reliable and dependable receivers in the SEC. Jordan Matthews put up monster numbers last season and had Vanderbilt’s best season ever as a receiver. He caught 94 passes for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns, and the Commodores’ quarterback play was very average at times.

Could Matthews find it tough to improve upon those video game-like numbers in 2013? Zac Stacy is gone, and Matthews has to find a way to make his numbers better.

Matthews is a great route runner and gets to top speed very quickly, and he doesn’t drop passes. He uses his 6-3 frame as his best asset when he boxes out corners and gives the quarterback a big target to throw to. Matthews isn’t very shifty after the catch, but he gets to full speed in a straight-line hurry.

Matthews’ combination will make him a big asset in the red zone for any NFL team, and that’s where I like his numbers to make a jump this season. He may not catch as many passes or have as many receiving yards, but his touchdown numbers should improve.

With another impressive and solid season, Matthews should find himself as a first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

The Countdown:

1.  Biggest freak in college football
2.  Johnny what’s his name?
3.  Best running back in college football
4.  The biggest winner in the rankings
5.  College football’s No. 2 overall running back
6.  A record-setting QB
7.  The Tide’s defensive glue
8.  The best offensive tackle in college football?
9.  Alabama’s O-line anchor
10. Texas A&M’s versatile left tackle
11. The biggest deep threat in the country?
12. Florida’s dancing defender
13. One LB who should explode in 2013
14. Jarvis Jones who?
15. The SEC East’s top receiver
16. Florida’s Honey Badger
17. A receiver who doesn’t drop passes…ever
18. LSU’s freak
19. A Rebel who knows he’s good
20. Funny name; not a funny game
21. Arkansas’ O-line anchor
22. A receiving freak
23. An underrated Tennessee head smasher
24. LSU’s defensive quarterback
25. An unheralded Hog

Photo credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports