Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers TE Jordan Matthews shares the story behind catching passes from Trey Lance at his pre-draft workout

Aug 16, 2021 at 2:42 PM--

When videos surfaced from Trey Lance's second pre-draft workout, some were a bit surprised to see then-wide receiver Jordan Matthews hauling in passes from the young quarterback. That's when the speculation started. Matthews spent time with the San Francisco 49ers over the past two seasons, so some wondered if the veteran receiver joined head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch on the trip to Fargo, North Dakota, for the workout.

Matthews was a free agent. It turns out he was just looking for any opportunity to showcase his desire to keep playing. That, and it seems few were willing to make the trek to Fargo to catch passes from Lance.

"Because Trey did two pro days, I don't think he could throw to the same receivers in the second pro day as he did the first," Matthews told reporters on Monday. "I guess you're not going to have a destination wedding in [the North Dakota State area], so it was kind of hard to get a bunch of guys to want to go there for anything.

"They just needed receivers to go catch for Trey, and there weren't any that were willing to go to North Dakota State for some reason. When my agent was talking to [49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters] about it, I think Adam just kind of mentioned, 'Yeah, we're having a hard time finding receivers for Trey to go catch for him in his second pro day.' And my agent was like, 'Oh, really?'"

Matthews laughed.

The veteran player received a call from his agent inquiring about his interest in traveling to Fargo for the workout. Actually, he was telling Matthews to go.

"He got off the phone [with the 49ers] and called me. He's like, 'Hey, you're going to go to North Dakota State and go catch for this guy,' because we knew that the 49ers would be there," Matthews continued. "We knew that there were some other teams that were going to watch. So, I was just in shape, and I wanted teams to know that I was working out, still trying to get on a roster and get into a camp. I had not yet made the decision to switch over to tight end at that time, but shortly after, I did."

Matthews did make the switch to tight end and even made it back onto the 49ers roster. Lance is now his teammate.

What kind of first impression did Lance leave on Matthews during that April workout?

"What I saw was I saw a young talented player," Matthews shared. "I saw a guy who was willing to listen, a guy that was willing to ask questions. He asked me questions about recovery, longevity in the NFL. That's all I really needed to know. If a guy is willing to come in and say, 'Hey, I want to learn' -- he has the talent, so what kind of person is he? And I think he's a stand-up guy, and I think everybody's going to be able to witness that throughout his career."

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