Alright, I think it’s time we just face it. There is a very good chance that Philly will make it through this whole off-season without causing a major stir in the wide receiver position.
The Eagles are a common target for pretty much every team with someone to trade solely because they now have 12 draft picks at their disposal—two of them from the first round. The rumors have been flying. One week T.J. Houshmanzadah is being touted as the Eagles’ savior, while the next we are all picturing Chad Ocho Cinco in Midnight Green.
Don’t get me wrong here. I am certainly in the “let’s get a big name wide receiver” camp, but I would like to at least explore the likelihood that this may never happen. I mean, even Andy Reid seems to be squashing these rumors at every turn.
He has stated that he is happy with his current band of receivers. Curtis, Avant, Brown, Jackson, and Baskett are good enough for him. There may not be a true No. 1 receiver in this bunch, but you should remember that they really played well down the stretch last year.
Jason Avant really became one of McNabb’s favorite targets—especially on third down in the playoffs. DeSean Jackson was a wonderful surprise this year as he is really shaping into a genuine threat.
And for those of you who seem to think that Philadelphiawill be looking to the draft for their newest star WR, you should think twice. While it is very possible they will draft a receiver at some point, the first round is most likely not the place.
Reid likes to say that it takes at least three to four years for a WR to acclimate to the NFL. Ironically, DeSean Jackson seems to have broken this rule. But he could very well have been a prodigy, as the statistics tend to agree with Reid.
Of the 35 receivers taken in the draft last year, only four averaged more than two catches per game ( Jackson included). If the team really was looking for a contribution right now, then they will have to make a trade or pick up someone from the dwindling list of free agents.
"So what now?" you may ask. Please remember that the Eagles had the number one defense in the NFC last year, and have all the tools necessary to repeat that performance. Brian Westbrook is apparently "out of his mind ready to go" after off-season surgery on his knee.
The Eagles made it to the NFC Championship game last year with very little help from Westbrook. Could you imagine what a season would be like with their defense if this guy is healthy?
There will certainly be changes to the team throughout the next couple months. 12 draft picks is quite a number, and it is also possible they seek a trade or sign a free agent. I am just trying to point out that a "big time" wide receiver is not necessarily the only path to a championship.
The Eagles have many of the pieces that, if put together in just the right sequence, could really turn 2009 into an amazing year.