49ers

Former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews signs contract with 49ers

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Former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews signs contract with 49ers

The 49ers have added to their offense, signing former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews. 

Matthews, at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, could be the big-body receiver that the team has been looking for. In his five seasons in the NFL, Matthews has spent time Philadelphia, Buffalo and one offseason with the Patriots.

The Patriots cut Matthews as a result of a significant hamstring injury during the 2018 offseason. He was later signed by the Eagles, where he appeared in 14 games. 

Matthews has 270 career receptions for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns. The majority of those touchdowns have been from inside the red zone, an area that’s been a challenge for coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. 

Upon signing with the team, Matthews spoke about why he chose the 49ers. 

“I had a huge interest in wanting to be at a place like this,” Matthews said. “It’s got everything you want, as far as the culture of the team already, young, vibrant, great quarterback in Jimmy (Garoppolo). So as a receiver, you couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

Matthews also has a unique connection to the team, being the cousin of Hall of Fame wide receiver, Jerry Rice. He recalled going to San Francisco when he was very young but not remembering much. 

When Matthews returned to the Bay Area a second time it was to attend a Raiders game when Rice was a member of the team. Matthews does remember wearing a 49ers hat for that Raiders-Broncos game.

Coach Kyle Shanahan has always expressed that the size of the receiver doesn’t matter as much as their ability to get open. Matthews believes that is one of the reasons the team signed him. 

“I feel like I do three things really well,” Matthews said. “I get open, I catch the ball, and I’m going to block in the run game. I feel like whenever I’ve been put in a position to make plays, I go out and make them. 

“Last year, going back to Philly, there were opportunities out there that they gave me, and every single time they gave me an opportunity, I made sure I capitalized on it.”

The 49ers have been on Matthews radar for a while. He spoke about what he has seen from the reviewing corps and how that made San Francisco an attractive landing spot. 

“I’m watching film and seeing guys like Trent Taylor have a great year (as a rookie), Kendrick Bourne being able to elevate his game in a short period of time. Even tight end. Look at what (George) Kittle was able to do and how they got him in space. 

“Marquise Goodwin is a player I’ve watched for a long time. When he came here, it seemed like his career really emerged. And so I feel like they do a ton of stuff just to get guys in open space, and that’s what I pride myself on. I’m going to get open. I’m going to catch the ball. I’m going to help the team win.”

Matthews has missed some time on the field due to injury but was adamant that he is currently healthy. 

“I’m feeling good,” Matthews said. “I’m feeling as good as I did coming into the league. This whole place is electric right now. Just walking into the building, you can tell there’s a lot of excitement around the 49ers.” 

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Matthews is reuniting with former teammate Miles Austin, who is now a member of the 49ers coaching staff. The two played together while members of the Eagles in 2015. 

"I told Austin, I feel like I’m 22 again walking around here," Matthews said. "I’m excited to get to work and get to know the guys in the locker room and try to build a winning culture.”

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

Nick Bosa might have been the best player in last year’s draft, but the top spot went to a quarterback to fill a need for the team with the No. 1 overall pick.

Things could very well go the same way this year, with the Cincinnati Bengals taking quarterback Joe Burrow with the first selection.

That would leave the consensus top player, Chase Young, for Washington at No. 2.

Again, that player is a defensive end. Again, that player is a defensive end from Ohio State.

“Nick, he's always setting the standard,” Young said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “That's just motivation for me to achieve a lot of real good things.

“It's definitely been a blessing to watch him grow into the player that he is. He's definitely helped me along this passage. He hasn't stopped. I'm just grateful to be able to see him grow.”

The 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick last year after the Arizona Cardinals went with quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.

Bosa registered nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He and Young also have been in contact as Young goes through the same process Bosa experienced a year ago.

“He just told me to be myself,” Young said. “That's what I have been trying to do the whole time I've been here.”

Young, like Bosa, declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He enters the draft after compiling a more impressive college career than Bosa, who was hampered by injuries throughout his time at Ohio State.

In 34 college games, Young registered 30.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. Last season, he had 16.5 sacks, all of which came in the first nine games of the season. In 29 games at Ohio State, Bosa had 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

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Bosa’s brother, Joey, went to Ohio State, where he was coached by defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Nick Bosa did not have much of a decision where to attend college because the family was already sold on Johnson’s ability to groom defensive linemen.

“I think the technique that ‘Coach J’ teaches in college works in the NFL as well,” Young said. “I'll continue to perfect my technique. The toolbox that I have now, I know that it'll bring me success in the NFL. That's one thing that I took from Nick and Joey.”

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

The 49ers saw firsthand how a blazing-fast receiver like Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs can change a game when Hill's deep catch on third-and-15 swung the momentum in Super Bowl LIV. Henry Ruggs, believe it or not, might be even faster. 

As San Francisco looks to upgrade its receivers for coach Kyle Shanahan's motion-heavy offense, a speedster like Ruggs could be a game-changer. The Alabama receiver said Thursday that he has met with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

Ruggs put on an absolute show Thursday at the combine. After measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, Ruggs ran a ridiculous 4.27 40-yard dash. That is the fastest among receivers this year, and the best time thus far at the combine. His time also is tied with current 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin, who could be on his way out of San Francisco, as the fourth-fastest at the combine since 2006.

That was just the start of Ruggs' big day, too. He also recorded a 42-inch vertical leap and had a 10'11" broad jump. His athleticism simply is off the charts. 

Ruggs joins a growing list of receivers the 49ers have met with at the combine. But it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the NFC champions. The 49ers own the No. 31 pick in the draft this year, and a handful of teams ahead of them make sense as a landing spot for Ruggs. 

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Before the combine, Ruggs was selected No. 18 overall by the Miami Dolphins in our latest mock draft. It would be a big surprise to see him fall past the New Orleans Saints at No. 24 overall.

It's clear the 49ers are doing their due diligence on a loaded receiver class and could be eyeing a future star at the end of the first round. Adding Ruggs would be gold to Shanahan's offense.