Josh Huff: An In-Depth Look at Eagles' Most Intriguing Selection

Yueh HoCorrespondent IMay 13, 2014

Oregon receiver Josh Huff is shown during an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Eugene, Ore., Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Don Ryan/Associated Press

Chip Kelly found it fitting to take not one, but two receivers in the draft, despite the presence of Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin on the team's roster. It's especially interesting that Kelly selected Josh Huff, whom many projected as a fifth-round pick.

Huff is really a player whose career can go either way. He has flashed both incredible playmaking ability and also frustrating inconsistency.

When Huff is on, he is blazing fast. Standing at just 5'11", he has elusiveness that mimics DeSean Jackson. Don't be fooled by his 4.47 40 time. While Huff may not possess elite vertical speed, he is as agile as anyone and consistently generates separation.

His hands are also an underrated aspect of his game. He has excellent body control, locating the ball in the air with ease. He also plays with a great deal of heart, showing strong effort on every play and fighting for every inch on his way to the end zone. 

Observe the excellent body control and concentration Huff shows on this game-winning touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota.

Huff nabbed 62 receptions for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. His success at Oregon explains why Kelly felt the need to select him so high in the draft. Kelly may know best how to utilize Huff and mask his weaknesses.

In terms of weaknesses, Huff has many. For every outstanding catch Huff makes, he will often answer with a boneheaded drop. He also is purely a separation-type player, as he often shies away from contact when making catches.

Furthermore, it is also unclear if he can effectively get by physical corners at the NFL level. Huff was rarely pressed at Oregon and will need to prove he can beat press coverage. 

What makes this more worrying is the obvious, that Huff is an undersized receiver. He doesn't possess DeSean's unreal speed, and he doesn't possess Steve Smith's strength or vertical leap.

But what Huff does possess is prior experience playing under Kelly. Kelly knows him and clearly elected to bring him to Philly, even it meant reaching for him. If he can tap Huff's acceleration and agility, as well as superb hands, the Eagles will have another explosive mismatch in their arsenal.

Given Maclin's injury-ridden history, Huff may see more playing time than anticipated during his rookie season. He may be a work in progress, but if he can consistently beat press coverage, he would be an excellent weapon. He is as good at generating separation in open space as anyone and would be deadly after the catch.

Only time will tell how Kelly chooses to use his former start receiver at the next level.


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