Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson examines the wide receivers of each NFC East team. Today: Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles might have the most explosive group of wideouts in all of football. DeSean Jackson, with his league-leading 22.5 yards-per-reception average, is probably the most dangerous wide receiver in the game today. He is pure electricity, but Jackson did catch only 47 passes this past season. In half of the 2010 games, Jackson caught three or fewer balls. With his skill set, that is unacceptable. He needs the football.
This crew does have a weakness near the goal line. Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are not big or physical, and they don’t play big. Maclin is better in this regard and seems to be improving. He did catch 10 touchdowns in 2010 and certainly was more consistent than Jackson. Overall, it is pretty difficult to criticize the Eagles' starting pair of wideouts. They are exceptional. Do not think for a minute that Maclin can’t blaze past most corners to get deep and create big plays.
Jason Avant is an underrated contributor who is sure-handed and reliable. He does his best work out of the slot and is a good complement to Jackson and Maclin.
Riley Cooper and Chad Hall are also intriguing. Cooper has enough size and skill to take a substantial step forward in his second season. Meanwhile, Hall is a jack-of-all-trades who could see a greatly expanded role in this offense. Getting the football in Hall’s hands should be more of a priority, but in an offense loaded with playmakers, that might not be so easy to accomplish.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.