Upon signing with the San Francisco 49ers, Jordan Matthews immediately became the biggest and most accomplished wide receiver on the roster. His 22 career touchdowns are 10 more than Marquise Goodwin's 12, and his 6-foot-2 frame makes him appear to be a perfect fit to replace Pierre Garçon out wide.
However, Matthews has done most of his damage out of the slot. John Lynch described what he sees in Matthews on Thursday during an appearance on 49ers Live. The GM said that the team's newest pass catcher is a fit in the slot, but he'll also get a chance to play on the outside at the 'X' and 'Z' spots.
"It's a different body type than we have on our roster, and it's something we wanted to provide," Lynch said. "But it's more than the body type, it's his play. I think he fits because he's got tremendous flexibility to play the 'big slot' and be that bigger target inside. What we liked is that he can play all three receiver positions for us. He has that mental capacity. More so, he has the skills. Very few guys can play all three positions. We think he provides that for us."
Lynch referenced Matthews preexisting relationship with offensive quality control coach Miles Austin. The two spent a year together with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. Lynch tapped into Austin's knowledge of Matthews while doing his due diligence. It was Austin who helped sell the 49ers on the free agent receiver.
"He spoke to the character of the young man," Lynch said. "He has a lot of those core values and checks a lot of the boxes for the type of player that we want to bring in aside from the skills. We thought it was a tremendous fit, and we're excited to have him."
It will be interesting to see where Matthews fits when roster cuts are all said and done. If he makes the roster, Matthews could prove to be a unique chess piece on gameday that Kyle Shanahan can use to manipulate opposing defenses.
"We really like bringing in players, especially depth players, who can do everything," Lynch said. "It gives us tremendous flexibility, and Kyle does such a good job of creating the matchups we like. We think Jordan is an interesting piece to put wherever we want him."