DeSean Jackson (No. 10)
DeSean Jackson signed a five-year, $51 million extension prior to last season, then went out and caught just 45 receptions for 700 yards and two touchdowns. He’s a far cry from the player who captivated the NFL in 2009 and 2010 with his penchant for scoring 50-plus-yard touchdowns.
The new offense under Chip Kelly should bring out the best in Jackson, although Jackson’s small stature does leave him as a fairly one-dimensional force on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jeremy Maclin (No. 18)
Expect Jeremy Maclin to finally have his long-awaited breakout season in 2013. He’s entering his fifth year with the team, which also happens to be his contract season. Maclin has been productive in this offense, but he still hasn’t yet reached 1,000 yards. Last year, Maclin led the team with 69 receptions for 857 yards and seven touchdowns. While those are good numbers, they’re not first-round pick numbers.
Jason Avant (No. 81)
Jason Avant is attending camp, hoping to hold onto his role as the team’s slot receiver. He’s a slower, possession receiver who is a near-lock to put up 50 catches for the Eagles. Avant has the best hands on the team, although he will see fierce competition from Arrelious Benn and Damaris Johnson for the top slot receiver role.
Arrelious Benn (No. 17)
The Eagles brought over Arrelious Benn via a trade, hoping to get the production out of him that would warrant the high second-round pick the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent on him in 2009. Benn was an afterthought in Tampa Bay last season, and his playing time will depend on his ability to use his impressive size and speed to make plays.
Damaris Johnson (No. 13)
An undrafted free agent last year, Damaris Johnson won a spot on the 53-man roster in camp and worked his way up to being the starting punt returner. He played sparingly as a receiver, but did catch 19 passes. He’s a poor man’s version of Jackson, and if Kelly can use him as the versatile weapon he can be, it makes the offense even more difficult to defend.
Riley Cooper (No. 14)
Riley Cooper was a pleasant surprise for the Eagles in 2012, finishing second on the team with three touchdown catches. He’s the biggest receiver the team had last year, checking in at 6’4”. Cooper may find himself on the way out because Benn has good size and better speed.
Greg Salas (No. 19)
Greg Salas is a former fourth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams who is probably a long shot to make the official roster in 2013. He caught 27 passes as a rookie in ’11, then struggled to make an impact on both the New England Patriots and Eagles last year.
Russell Shepard (No. 11)
Russell Shepard was a former high school sensation who didn’t quite see the success at LSU that many expected. He’s a weapon who can conceivably line up anywhere on the field (including quarterback). The problem is, his numbers weren’t eye-popping in college, and he faces an uphill climb to make the Eagles.
Ifeanyi Momah (No. 80)
Ifeanyi Momah is already a camp favorite among Eagles fans, even though he’s likely not going to make the team. Momah has tremendous size at 6’8”, which means he must make his mark on third downs and inside the red zone in preseason. Missing a whole year of football, while recovering from a torn ACL, suggests Momah may spend the year on the practice squad, if at all.
Nick Miller (No. 16)
A former punt returner with the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams, Nick Miller is struggling to hang on in the NFL. He doesn’t offer much as a receiver and will have to make his mark via special teams. Considering the Eagles’ wide-open competition in the returning game, Miller does have a chance to make the roster.
B.J. Cunningham (No. 88)
B.J. Cunningham spent all of 2012 on the Eagles’ practice squad. He was a former sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins, but hasn’t made enough of an impact at the next level. Cunningham may be looking at another season on the practice squad.
Will Murphy (No. 84)
Will Murphy is a former walk-on for Kelly’s Oregon Ducks, who was signed to a contract with the Eagles recently. He’s a camp body for now.