With the 56th pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2014 NFL mock draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews. JCruize is serving as the 49ers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
After selecting defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman in the first round, I turned my attention to the other two areas of need for the Niners, cornerback and wide receiver. With the recent run on cornerbacks and the fact that the Niners will be selecting again in five picks, it let me have a little more leeway with BPA at pick 56. And lucky for the Niners, not only is Jordan Matthews one of the top prospects left on my board, but he also fits a need. The fact that he is Jerry Rice's cousin might have given him a little edge.
Matthews is 6'3 and 209 pounds, with excellent hands and body control. This past season he became the SEC's all-time leader in receptions with 262, while averaging a ridiculous 19.0 yards per catch. Jordan is a very polished receiver who does a lot of things well. The big knock on him that will likely keep him out of the first round is his straight-line speed. Matthews is quick but not fast enough to be a deep threat in the NFL. But he is very good at running the slant, dig and crossing routes, which are a staple of offensive coordinator Greg Roman's West Coast offense in San Francisco.
With Anquan Boldin set to become a free agent after the 2015 season, and with Brandon Lloyd being signed to a one-year deal and Michael Crabtree's history of injuries, the Niners will be drafting a receiver. Did I mention that Jordan is Jerry Rice's cousin?
Check out the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.