Eric Gay/Associated Press
Finally switching over to the offensive side of the ball, it’s probably best to get a look at a few wide receivers. As you probably know by now, Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper are both free agents, and there is a debate as to whether or not Philadelphia can afford to sign both of them even if the organization wants to.
When you add in that Maclin is coming off an ACL injury and is likely to sign a short-term deal and DeSean Jackson is making waves about his contract, it might be time to start planning for the future.
For this column, we’re operating under the assumption that either Maclin or Cooper will not return, so finding a player who could come in and play right away would be a plus. The natural leap is to suggest Josh Huff as the natural fit, since he played for Chip Kelly at Oregon.
Huff caught 62 passes for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. At 5’11”, he’s on the small side, but he has a strong build at 205 pounds and is expected to clock a 40-yard time at around 4.4. Rob Rang and Dane Brugler for NFLDraftScout.com like Huff, but he hasn’t had the greatest week of practice.
Possessing broad-shoulders, strength and toughness, Huff is capable of fighting through safeties to gain position, as well as the quickness and speed to separate from cornerbacks. Unfortunately, the tendency to lose focus on the details - like exploding through his routes or securing the football through the entire catch process - again came into play during Wednesday's practice.
Considering neither Jackson nor Maclin is taller than 6’0”, the Birds may want to use size as a determining factor. Tony Pauline for PhiladelphiaEagles.com likes UCLA’s Shaquelle Evans, who has caught the eye of more than a view scouts and analysts in attendance.
Evans, 6-foot-1, 210, built a lot of momentum throughout the week and by Wednesday was one of the better receivers at the Senior Bowl. He's a physical wideout with a strong build and soft hands. Evans consistently separated from opponents by running good routes and fought hard to come away with the reception. He's a terrific possession receiver with the ability to help any NFL team as a rookie.
Not to be outdone, the South roster has some tall receivers who could make an impact as well. Jimmy Kempski liked Shaq Evans as well, but for the Philly.com columnist’s money, at 6’3”, 206 pounds, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews has been the receiver to watch this week:
The best receiver here, in my opinion, is Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt. He had the catch of the day. It was semi-diving catch about 30 yards down the field along the sideline. He has had some drops, which is a concern, but his raw ability is clear as day.
Finally, Texas’ Mike Davis has been making noise in Mobile as well. There is some discrepancy over his height—the Senior Bowl website lists him at 6’2”, while NFLDraftScout.com has him at 6'0"—but little debate about his talent. Dan Kadar for SB Nation likes what he’s seen from the potential mid-round pick:
Mike Davis of Texas continued his excellent week of play on Wednesday. He's not the biggest name wide receiver on the South team, but Davis runs the best routes and has the quickest feet. Some team may get a steal on Davis late on the second day of the draft.