The Philadelphia Eagles' Search for McNabb's No. 1 Wide Receiver

Leo PizziniAnalyst IApril 8, 2017

The Eagles front office has been criticized for not being aggressive in acquiring a top tier receiver when that is really the farthest thing from the truth.

When drafting, wide receiver is one of the most difficult positions to grade.

The biggest draft bust at the wide receiver position was easily Freddie Mitchell, followed closely by Todd Pinkston. Neither of these receivers failed to contribute during their tenure in Philadelphia. However, neither blossomed into the potential game changer Eagle fans were demanding.

The Obvious Attempt: WR Terrell Owens

Some moves that the Eagles have made that are quickly forgotten, include the legendary acquisition of T.O.. Terrell Owens may have been the best receiver in the league at that time and the front office obviously made moves for him. 

The Forgotten Attempt: WR Randy Moss

Prior to signing his new contract with New England the Eagles again made a strong move to get the best wide receiver in the NFL. The Eagles outbid the Patriots for the services of Moss, but after a NFL record setting season, the future Hall of Famer elected to re-sign with the Patriots.

The Unknown Attempt: WR Anquan Boldin

In the most emotional debate for a wide receiver in Eagle history, Eagles fans were on fire, demanding the front office make a move for the Arizona Cardinal's disgruntled receiver Anquan Boldin. Blogs everywhere were blasting the front office for failing to make a move for this superstar.

After the dust finally settled, the truth was revealed that the Eagle's front office was one of only two teams to make viable offers for Boldin's services.

The 2009 draft was loaded with receivers.  Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Darius Heyward Bey, Percy Harvin, and Hakeem Nicks are just a few of the good looking prospects from this year's class of receivers. 

With the young talent available in the draft, the value of 30 year old Anquan Boldin was less than in previous years.

The Current Roster: Curtis, Jackson, and Maclin

In the last three years, the Eagles have acquired some good looking talent in Kevin Curtis, Desean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin.

2006 fourth round pick Jason Avant and rookie free agent acquired from Minnesota, Hank Baskett, also play great roles for this Eagle team and figure to make big plays in 2009.

Reggie Brown is coming off an incredibly disappointing season and has been forgotten as the second year player who posted 816 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Through the draft, the Eagles have picked wide receivers that narrowly missed having the skill set to do what all Eagles fans expect of Curtis, Jackson, and Maclin.

For a more detailed look at the current wide receiver picture reference this link:

The "Busts": Brown, Pinkston, and Mitchell

Brown, Pinkston, and Mitchell may not generate the same kind of excitement, but nonetheless, these guys were not that far off from being the real deal.

In Pinkston's third season he posted a career best 798 yards and seven touchdowns. He seemed like he might be emerging as a wide receiver.

One might argue that in 2001, we drafted Mitchell before Reggie Wayne (1st Round), Chad OchoCinco (2nd Round), and Steve Smith (3rd Round). This is a valid argument.

The other side of the coin is prior to Reggie Wayne (Pick 30), the Bears took WR David Terrell (Pick Eight), Seattle took WR Koren Robinson (Pick Nine), Redskins took WR Rod Gardner (Pick 15), Jets took WR Santana Moss (Pick 16), and of course the Eagles took WR Freddie Mitchell (Pick 25). How hard is it to assess receiving talent? Real hard.

The list of receivers drafted before Todd Pinkston include: Peter Warrick to Cincinnati (fourth Overall), Plaxico Burress to Pittsburgh (eighth Overall), Travis Taylor to Baltimore (10th Overall), Sylvester Morris to Kansas City (21st Overall), R. Jay Soward to Jacksonville (29th Overall), and Dennis Northcutt to Cleveland (32nd Overall). 

The list of receivers drafted before Reggie Brown include: Braylon Edwards to Cleveland (third Overall), Troy Williamson to Minnesota (seventh Overall), Mike Williams, to Detroit (10th Overall), Matt Jones to Jacksonville (21st Overall), Mark Clayton to Baltimore (22nd Overall), and Roddy White to Atlanta (27th Overall).

Considering the aforementioned list of draft picks, It looks like the Eagles have drafted receivers pretty well.

A Final Word on Philadelphia's No. 1 Receiver:

The fans are not the only ones looking for a big receiving threat. The front office has done everything they could to put the best team on the field year after year. This staff and veteran group of players have a few more years to bring home the hardware.

So as reported in Dan Pharzych article (Click Here to Read the Article), the Eagles have a new look at receiver depth and at least three receivers that could contend for the No. 1 receiver role in Curtis, Jackson, and, at some point, Jeremy Maclin.