Thursday, February 7, 2013
Eagles could use help at wide receiver
By Dan Graziano
Zach Berman is going position-by-position with the Philadelphia Eagles' roster, and today's focus is on wide receiver. The Eagles have talent there with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but in spite of all of their skills neither has proved to be as reliable a performer as the Eagles have long hoped they would be. Could they both snap back to form, stay healthy all year and form one of the top wideout duos in the league? Possibly, but it's unlikely the Eagles can base an offseason plan on that hope, especially since they don't currently know who the quarterback is going to be:
Look for some new additions at both wide receiver and tight end. It’s a loaded free agent class, but the Eagles would need to pay big money to land Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace or Wes Welker. Victor Cruz is a restricted free agent who would cost the Eagles a pick based on his tender. Danario Alexander would be an intriguing option because of his size if he does not garner a high tender.
A big-bodied wide receiver would give the Eagles something they’re missing. Don’t expect the Eagles to spend a first-round pick on a receiver. Virginia Tech’s Marcus Davis is a big receiver who could be taken in a middle round. If the Eagles are looking for the versatile receiver to be used in different roles, few are better in the NFL than West Virginia’s Tavon Austin. Of course, he would require a pick late in the first round or early in the second round.
Much of this of course depends on new coach Chip Kelly's plan for his offense. If Jackson is going to be used, as he himself suggested last week, in a role similar to the one running back DeAnthony Thomas filled for Kelly at Oregon, then it's possible the Eagles could be looking for a more traditional big-target wideout on the outside. They'll need to focus most of their offseason energy and resources on rebuilding the defense, especially the secondary. But if they do something big on offense other than quarterback, wide receiver could indeed be the spot.