DeSean Jackson: Projecting Stats, Impact for the Refocused Eagles WR in 2012

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIAugust 21, 2012

Aug 20, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) warms up before the start of the preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Just by watching Philadelphia Eagles games last season, you could tell something was wrong with wide receiver DeSean Jackson. And now we know what it was.

Jackson told ESPN's Lisa Salters that he didn't give 100 percent effort last season because he was worried about getting injured before signing a new contract. As a result, Jackson had a down year, catching just 58 passes for 961 yards and four touchdowns. 

The 25-year-old Cal product got his contract this offseason, signing a five-year, $51 million extension. With that new contract in his hands, his production should theoretically increase this season. 

Jackson can be one of the NFL's most explosive players when properly motivated. In 2010, he played 14 games and finished with just 47 catches, but he also racked up 1,056 yards for an average of 22.5 yards per catch.

That's incredible. 

While Jeremy Maclin will certainly cut into his reception numbers, Jackson should still be able to make explosive plays. He should also see more single coverage thanks to Maclin's emergence and the continuing development of multi-threat running back LeSean McCoy.

If quarterback Michael Vick is healthy this season, Jackson should top 65 receptions, which would be a career high. I also expect him to be among the NFL leaders in yards per catch. He should finish the season with at least 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns as well. 

In addition to his numbers, Jackson's speed and playmaking ability will open up the field for Philadelphia's offense. McCoy should find more running room, and Maclin will also face single coverage more often than not. 

If he is properly motivated and healthy, Jackson is one of the most dangerous players in the NFL. Now that he has a new contract, there is no reason for him to hold back anymore. He should go back to being a playmaker the Eagles can rely on.