Some Concerns With Jeremy Maclin

charsonContributor IMay 3, 2009

As a casual college football fan, I've followed Jeremy Maclin for about a year and a half now. 

Andy Reid loves them fastballs, and well, I figured this guy had a shot at being an Eagle somewhere down the road, so why not follow the guy for his career?

Being a redshirt freshman and racking up 2,500+ all-purpose yards is an amazing accomplishment.  To do it again his sophomore year, and actually breaking his own record, is legendary.

We've seen what he can do, but by no means is he a perfect WR.  Maclin does have some flaws in his game that could cause a concern or two as well as some of the things he has no control over.


Knee injury in 2006. 

Maclin tore his ACL and some other ligaments while getting tangled up on a pass play with teammate William Moore in a practice session.  What most people don't know is that Maclin was very close to damaging his perennial nerve, which would have ended his football career

JR Reed had the same injury doing something stupid, and he basically ruined any potential he had as a pretty damn good return man and safety. Could Jeremy Maclin have lost some of that shiftiness and lateral quickness?


Cutting/Lateral Quickness

From what I've seen, Maclin lacks explosion out of his cuts.  DeSean Jackson gets open all day and all night because he can cut on a dime. Some players have it, some players don't. 

Now, I'm not saying Maclin doesn't have it.  I don't think he ever needed to go all out to get open playing against Big 12 defenses.  Corners respected his speed, so they gave him a cushion most of the time, and that's all Maclin needed to make plays. 

Once Maclin learns how to run routes in Reid's west coast offense, I think we'll start seeing his true cutting ability, because he's going to need it to get seperation.


Spread Offense

Playground football, not running an NFL route his entire life, yadda yadda.


Maclin is Green. 

This kid is only 20 years old.  He's young, and he's still developing physically.  He could probably put on an extra 10 pounds to fill out his frame, upping his weight from 200 to 210. 


Strength/Breaking Tackles

I'm not sure what to believe concerning his strength.  Some Big 12 fans say Maclin was virtually unjammable, which is why corners played him off. 

I think, if anything, getting off the line will be all about using his quickness but, hey, if he has deceptive strength, that's great.  He's not use to getting harassed at the line in college, and in those rare instances where the corner came up to the line of scrimmage, Maclin didn't have much trouble freeing himself. 

The west coast offense is a timing based offense, so he is going to need to beat the jam in a hurry to get into his route.

Maclin also has a slight build. Does this mean he can snake his way out of tackles? Who knows, but he will need open space to do his thing, which is similar to DeSean.  Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree are physical and aggressive enough to break tackles as they run for those yards after the catch.  Maclin is much more finesse and will break an arm tackle or two, but don't expect him to break a wall down in tight spaces.

When Heyward-Bey was taken by Al Davis, I was hoping Maclin would be an Eagle.  This is the guy I wanted in Eagle green—more than Moreno or Pettigrew.  His positives far outweigh the negatives. 

The kid is only 20 and could become a more physical receiver in a year or two by gaining an extra 10 pounds of muscle. 

By no means is he a finished product. Despite setting records at Missouri, he still has loads of potential, which good coaching should help realize.  His top-end speed is underrated because his QB at Missouri, Chase Daniel, had a mediocre arm. 

There were many more touchdowns left on the field because Maclin would constantly outrun the deep ball, having to slow down and readjust to those severely underthrown passes.  I think its safe to say that this won't be an issue with McNabb under center.

Maclin will make an impact from day one.  Ray Didinger suggests Maclin will get 10-15 touches a game, which I find absurd (Westbrook sometimes doesn't even get that many touches in a game), but the kid is smart, extremely coachable, and has the drive to be a star wideout. 

With Jeremy Maclin and DeSean on the field, The Linc could turn into a track meet on Sundays.


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