Philadelphia Eagles Upgrade WR Corps: Watch Out For This Group of Playmakers
There's been a lot of talk from Eagles fans campaigning for the team to sign an elite wide receiver to bolster what was one of the weaker aspects of the offense last season.
Like every year.
Anquan Boldin seemed to be the popular favorite for this team.
Last year, Boldin caught 11 touchdowns and totaled over 1,000 yards in just 12 games, while helping the Arizona Cardinals to the first Super Bowl in franchise history. He is a big physical receiver who can go across the middle to make a catch. Boldin is also an above-average blocker who would bring that extra element to the Eagles.
Rumors swirled about potential trades for Anquan Boldin.
We heard of a possible Sheldon Brown for Anquan Boldin trade or scenarios such as a first round pick and Reggie Brown straight up for Anquan Boldin.
No moves were made, and at this point, it appears as if Boldin will be staying with Kurt Warner in Arizona next season.
Other possible candidates included veterans like Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzedah, Marvin Harrison, or Braylon Edwards, or perhaps an addition through a draft that featured many top wide receiver prospects.
We've all seen what Donovan McNabb can do with a top-notch playmaker to throw the ball to, ala Terrell Owens in 2004. With T.O. drawing double teams, it allowed more opportunities for the team's other receivers and backs to get open and create plays.
In fact, the only full season in which the Eagles have ever had a legit No. 1, the team reached the Super Bowl.
So while the team didn't pick up Boldin, the receiving corps sure weren't ignored.
The Eagles made a huge splash in the draft, trading up to select Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with the 19th overall pick.
It's about time.
Maclin was a stud receiver and returner in college. He was an All-American in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Last season, he caught 80 passes for 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also led all of college football in average all-purpose yards per game.
And that was just as a sophomore. Maclin declared for the draft early, forgoing his final two years of eligibility in college football.
I am curious to see where the Eagles will list Maclin on their depth chart next season. Maclin played in the slot for most of the Tigers' season. Essentially, the Eagles have three receivers best suited for the slot.
I think the most likely scenario for 2009 is Kevin Curtis as the team's No. 1 and Jackson as the No. 2. Maclin will be the third receiver, but he should be expected to get some significant playing time.
This will leave Jason Avant and Hank Baskett as the fourth and fifth receivers for this team, two players who could easily be a No. 3 for many teams.
All of a sudden, the Eagles boast one of the finest receiving corps in the league.
No team has speed like the Eagles.
Jackson runs a 4.29 in the 40 yard dash and Maclin's personal best is 4.31, which would place both of them in the select few fastest receivers in the league. Curtis is a speedy receiver probably best suited for the slot.
Has any team in history ever had a group of receivers as fast as these guys? Ever?
I can't think of any.
I envision a future for this team with Maclin and Jackson as the No. 1 and 2 receivers, with Curtis as one of the game's top slot receivers.
Avant is a possession receiver with a knack for making clutch catches on third down and Baskett is a big-play machine, with three touchdowns in his career of 87-plus yards.
McNabb should do wonders with this group next year.
Maclin and Jackson will benefit from one another on the field. Jackson is the veteran of the two, with a year of experience on him.
The Eagles are set for years with these two playmakers and I can't wait to see what McNabb can do now.
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