Eagles Off-Season Preview: Wide-Receiver
It's officially draft/free agent season for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, and to kick things off is a look at one of the positions the team could add to in an effort to try and help their young quarterback Nick Foles.
The Eagles can go one of a number of ways.
1. They could re-sign Jeremy Maclin and/or Riley Cooper
2. They could add a wide-receiver via the draft
3. They could add a free agent wide-receiver
How is the talent in this year's wide receiver group both in the draft and free agency?
In the draft, its exceptional, in free agency, good, not great.
Here are my initial rankings of wide receivers available in this year's class:
(Keep in mind that these are overall rankings, not who the Eagles may be looking for and targeting.)
Draft prospects: (My top 5 draft prospects)
- Sammy Watkins, Clemson
- Mike Evans, Texas A&M
- Marqise Lee, USC
- Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
- Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Free Agents: (My Top 5 Free agent wide-receivers)
- Eric Decker, Denver
- Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia
- Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
- Julian Edelman, New England
- Golden Tate, Seattle
The thought here is that the Eagles would be more interested in bringing back free agent Jeremy Maclin on a one-year deal and letting Riley Cooper walk. Maclin has said he is open to coming back on a one-year deal, while Cooper is a strong candidate to get overpaid after outperforming his talent level in a contract year.
"I understand it could be a possibility that (the ACL tear) may scare some teams off, or a team may want to do a one-year deal as opposed to a long-term contract," Maclin said recently.
He's currently running and will soon ramp up his rehab and begin running side-to-side. Maclin has previously stated that he anticipates being ready for the start of spring practices in April.
So which way will the Eagles go, re-sign one of their own, draft a player or sign a free agent? One interesting name is former Rutgers wide-out and Tennessee Titan Kenny Britt - who is a free agent this season.
Britt doesn't believe he got a "fair shake" in Tennessee this season, and recently stated that he'll be someone's No. 1 receiver in 2014.
"I am going to tell you: I am going to be a No.1 receiver somewhere else if I am not here next year, and that is guaranteed," Britt proclaimed. "I am definitely going to be a receiver that makes plays on Sundays and makes something happen for a team."
Britt was shaping up as a special talent before his 2011 knee injury, but just hasn't been the same since. Still only 25, Britt has bounce-back potential, and could be had at a discounted price. At 6'3' 215 lbs., Britt could be the big, play-making wide-out the Eagles have been looking for.
So Eagles fans, how would you handle this position in the off-season? Bring back Maclin, Cooper, first-round pick or free agency?