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Eagles' weakness: No. 1 wide receiver

6/16/2009

Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
To be honest, I had a hard time coming up with something to choose for Philadelphia. Obviously, I am very high on this team and yes, the Eagles are my current pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Of the 32 articles I did about each team's biggest weakness, this one was the last I wrote. I just couldn't really come up with much. That doesn't mean the Eagles are far and away the top team in the league right now, but they are the team with fewest holes.

However, adding an established wideout such as Anquan Boldin or another star of a similar pedigree would have made an excellent team even better.

Obviously, DeSean Jackson was a pleasant surprise in his rookie year, pretty much asserting himself as Donovan McNabb's go-to guy -- if this team has such a thing. He is a big play waiting to happen and is terrific with the ball in his hands, but he also isn't the most polished or mature player around. He is undersized and doesn't play big, and he managed only two touchdown grabs last year. Jackson isn't a big-time red zone threat and probably will never be a No. 1 wideout in this league.

Kevin Curtis had a very down season in 2008, but was hampered for much of the first half of the year with a hernia issue. He also offers little as a red zone threat, but is very fast and dangerous on deep routes outside the numbers.

Jeremy Maclin is a terrific prospect I am very high on. Sooner rather than later, he should become Philadelphia's best wideout. But my problem here is that he is somewhat similar to Jackson and Curtis in that he isn't a real developed route-runner and does most of his best work after the catch. Maclin is well built, though, and will go over the middle, showing the toughness you like to see. He will be fine, but having the top three wideouts with mostly the same strengths and weaknesses is a curious approach. That being said, passing on Maclin on draft day would have been foolish.

Hank Baskett, Reggie Brown and Jason Avant are dissimilar to the three mentioned above, but putting them on the field over one of the more explosive guys doesn't make a ton of sense either. Of the three, I prefer Avant due to his sticky hands and overall reliability, but how much action will any of the three get?

The Eagles are strong. The offensive line should be improved and their running back depth is excellent -- assuming Brian Westbrook comes back to full strength. The Eagles' wide receiver position is also improved from a year ago, when the Eagles made it to the NFC Championship Game. But to me, adding an established player like Boldin would have been the best approach for a team this close.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.