The Eagles will select at least one receiver in this week’s draft, writes Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. What is unknown is who that receiver/those receivers will be, and when Philadelphia will pull the trigger. The only two receivers who are sure to be off the board by the time the Eagles make their pick with the No. 22 overall selection (assuming they don’t trade up) are Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.
Outside of those two players, Philadelphia will have its choice of a wide variety of elite talents in the first round and a number of players who might fall to Day 2 or Day 3 but who, in any other year, might be first-round worthy. The Eagles will choose between the electric play-makers like Brandin Cooks, the physical threats like Kelvin Benjamin, and the polished route runners. Although it has been said that head coach Chip Kelly prefers a larger receiver, he did not always have such a player while at Oregon, and the diminutive DeSean Jackson was, of course, the team’s primary receiving threat last year.
One concern is that first-round receivers have a lower success rate than first-round players at other positions given that college defenses have been forced to play softer coverage schemes in response to the proliferation of spread offenses in the collegiate game. As such, fewer and fewer college receivers are facing press coverage and the types of schemes they will face in the NFL. GM Howie Roseman, of course, did not divulge his team’s plans, but he did say that he will be looking for a different type of receiver than those the team targeted in Andy Reid‘s West Coast offense, and he indicated he is not necessarily looking for someone who will start right away. Rather, he is seeking the wideout who, with several years of seasoning, could emerge as the top receiver in this very deep class.
Now for a couple of other quick Eagles notes:
- ESPN.com’s Andy Jasner believes the Eagles may wait until the later rounds to draft a receiver.
- In a separate piece, Jasner says that adding a pass rusher is not a priority for the Eagles.
- Although whatever receiver the Eagles do select in the draft will be instantly compared to DeSean Jackson, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes TE Zach Ertz will be the player that recoups the bulk of Jackson’s production.
- Tim McManus of Philadelphia Magazine provides a mock-draft roundup for the Eagles.