Saturday, April 5, 2014

Eagles Offseason Report- Drafting a Wide Receiver

In the wake of the whole DeSean Jackson debacle the one thing that is clear about this situation is that the Eagles will be looking to add a wide receiver in next month's college draft. The good news is that this year's draft is deep with quality receivers, but it remains to be seen which ones will still be available when the Birds go on the clock with the 22nd overall pick in the first round.

Clemson's Sammy Watkins is the top rated receiver in this year's draft class so unless the Eagles trade up into one of the top five picks he is going elsewhere. A couple of players that will hopefully be around when they do pick are Brandin Cooks from Oregon State and Marquise Lee from USC. The main reason I am pinpointing these two wide receivers is the fact that they both played in the Pac-12 which is head coach Chip Kelly's old stomping ground. He has already proven to have an affinity towards players from his old conference going back to his days at Oregon.

Cooks is cut in the same mold as Jackson at 5-foot-10 and 189 lbs. and he has demonstrated excellent hands to go along with 4.33 speed in the 40-yard dash. He caught 128 passes last season for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is also on some other teams' radar as a top pick so the Eagles may still have to move up to board if they want to get him.

Lee has a bit more size at just under six foot while carrying 192 lbs. on his frame. While he does not have the same speed as Cooks, he has gained a reputation as being a playmaker during his career at Southern Cal. He is more athletic than Cooks and he can fill a number of roles in Kelly's dynamic offense including catching the ball over the middle and in tight traffic.

Either of these two players could be an excellent replacement for Jackson as a bona fide starter from Day 1. If you look deeper down the list of receivers you will find names such as Davante Adams from Fresno St, Donte Moncrief from Mississippi and Allen Robinson from Penn State. As I mentioned before, this draft is deep at this position so the Eagles should be able to add a player to their arsenal that will make everyone forget about the skills (and aggravation) that Jackson brought to the table.

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