Eagles Wide Receiver Breakdown: Complete Position Evaluation and Depth Chart
In terms of player personnel, the Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver corps haven't changed too much.
The mainstay passing threats of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin enter the 2013 fold with a large burden on their shoulders after not producing at a high level in 2012 in comparison to their previous campaigns.
Jackson, while he played in only 11 games last year, put up middle-of-the-pack numbers with just two touchdowns and 700 receiving yards. Maclin had two more scores last season than he did in 2011, but he did so in 25 more targets.
Referring back to Philadelphia's roster, more familiar faces like Jason Avant and Riley Cooper will likely provide moderate contributions to the offense.
But even though the Eagles' wideouts haven't changed too much, the way they're utilized may.
Chip Kelly and the offense that he has brought to the organization certainly created a buzz. But what has caught the eye of many recently was the "demotion" of Jackson.
In an interview with Eagles 247, Jackson said he had been running with the second and even third team at some points of the team's OTAs. Jackson, who said in the conversation that he's now running with "the right group," has led the Eagles in receiving four of the last five years, so it's not likely he's starting off the 2013 season at No. 3 on depth chart.
However, Kelly made it clear that no one is guaranteed starter status because of past performance and that everyone will get a shot, according to Jackson's comments to Eagles 247.
As long as Kelly's words hold true, that opens things up for guys hiding in the dark to emerge and make an impact.
Kelly spread the ball around nicely while at Oregon, that's for certain. The 49-year-old coach operated an Oregon offense that had four pass catchers above 400 yards receiving in 2011. In 2012, the Ducks had six players nab three or more touchdown catches.
The point is that Kelly's quick-hit offense likes to use a multitude of weapons.
That considered, production from speedy receivers outside of Jackson and Maclin is expected. As Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com points out, second-year player Damaris Johnson is a malleable tool on offense and special teams.
How much of an impact will Damaris Johnson have in 2013?
Johnson, who was singled out by Maclin as a player who will thrive in Kelly's offense, averaged a solid 5.47 yards after the catch per reception last year.
Granted he only had 19 catches with limited targets, but Johnson could do more damage if given a heightened role. Perhaps the starting spot in the slot?
Sure, Maclin and Jackson are going to get their share of targets and receptions. They're the most talented receivers on the roster, and they've proved that over the past four or five years.
But look for names like Johnson or Arrelious Benn to pop up and make a name for themselves in Kelly's offense.
With the direction of Kelly's mind not entirely clear at this point, it's hard to compile a depth chart considering how many pieces will be used in this offense. But with that considered, below is an early look at a potential depth chart for the Eagles' wide receiver group.
First Team: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin
Slot: Damaris Johnson
Second Team: Jason Avant, Riley Cooper
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