The Jeremy Maclin Effect
The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Eagles came together to conceive an alternate plan for generating electricity.
The solution was determined to be: Draft Jeremy Maclin.
First round draft pick from Missouri, Jeremy Maclin, was a threat every time he stepped on the field in college. In fact, the Missouri game plan was very nearly billed as finding different ways of getting him the ball. Fast, quick and decisive, Maclin's less obvious talent is his vision to line up blockers and exploit open field.
Maclin was statistically amazing in his two year playing career at Mizzou, racking up 2,315 yards on 182 catches averaging 12.72 yards per catch and totaling 22 receiving touchdowns. Maclin also carried the ball 91 times tallying 673 yards with a 7.3 yard average per carry, scoring 6 more times. As a return man, Maclin recorded 5 combined kick and punt returns for touchdowns.
What should we expect from this highly touted receiver in 2009?
At Missouri, Maclin lined up at almost every receiver position in the spread formation. He is better suited at a wide position in the NFL with the exception of some four and five wide spread formation sets that Andy Reid will undoubtedly explore.
Much has been made of Maclin's lack of intermediate route running in Missouri's spread offense. There will be a great deal for Maclin to learn in transition to Andy Reid's offense, but he has been regarded as sponge like from the first mini-camp. Considering his intelligence, quickness and agility Maclin should adapt with relative ease.
Maclin will challenge Kevin Curtis for the starting receiver job opposite DeSean Jackson. While Curtis will own the wide receiver position going into camp, I expect Maclin, aided with developmental guidance from McNabb, to wow the coaches with his raw ability and ultimately win the role at some point early on this season.
As a situational player, Maclin may stretch the field on fly, post and flag routes. He is also an option to run tight slant routes and screen passes as he did at Mizzou.
Andy and Marty will definitely find ways to get this young talent the ball in 2009.
Special plays we can expect to see for Jeremy may include some designed end around and wide receiver reverse plays with DeSean Jackson. Andy utilized Jackson's speed and quickness in an exotic run scheme several times in 2008. Maclin brings a similar skill set to the Eagles and Andy Reid's creative play philosophy lends a belief to the idea of effectively working Maclin into some similar situations.
Aside from his duties at receiver, Maclin will contend with Ellis Hobbs for the kick off return role. Excelling as an elite return man at Missouri, Maclin should be a dangerous addition to special teams. The Eagles are also looking to move 2008 return specialist, Quentin Demps, to the starting free safety position, potentially relieving him of his kick off return duty.
The youth and talents of Maclin and Jackson bear a striking resemblance to the rookie duo of Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams who had great success hauling in a combined 17 touchdowns in 1990 from Randall Cunningham. Let's hope that we see similar production in 2009 from our young receivers.
All optimism aside, the plethora of receiving threats in Philadelphia may marginalize Maclin's impact regardless of his playing time, ability and readiness. DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, Reggie Brown, Brent Celek, Cornelius Ingram, Brian Westbrook, Leonard Weaver and LeSean McCoy all figure worthy of a salvo of passes from McNabb.
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