A Look at the Eagles Wide Receivers After the Draft
Philadelphia's competition at wide receiver the past few season was filled with big names, with former first-round pick Jeremy Maclin and pro bowler DeSean Jackson on the roster -both those guys are now gone, leaving tons of question marks at the position.
The post-draft outlook at that position is a little more clear this year with fewer players in the mix, but there are still plenty of questions.
To name a few:
What's in store for Jordan Matthews after his solid rookie season? How much will Nelson Agholor contribute as a rookie? Will Miles Austin turn back clock and help the team? Is Riley Cooper a lock to make the team? How much playing time will Josh Huff earn?
None of those questions will be answered for a while. After all, it's early May, which is no time to be drawing definitive conclusions about an NFL team's roster. Plenty can change between now and the start of the regular season. For now, though, here's a look at where the Eagles stand at wide receiver with the draft in the books.
Jordan Matthews: He is the leading returning receiver in Philadelphia, catching 67 passes for 872 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie. He will most likely be taking over as the team's No. 1 receiver after Jeremy Maclin left for Kansas City this offseason. The Eagles might have drafted an eventual replacement for Maclin in Nelson Agholor, but last year's second round pick will be looked at to step up his production as a second year player in 2015. Matthews will enter the season as the most accomplished receiver on Philadelphia's roster.
Nelson Agholor: Eagles coach Chip Kelly recently called first-round wideout Nelson Agholor an "inside, outside guy."While many have compared him to Maclin, there is a good chance you see Agholor moved all over the field, in the slot, on the outside and more. While he is not a burner, Agholor has exceptional quickness and burst, and was devastating after the catch in college. The Eagles are hopeful the Agholor/Matthews pair becomes a top notch duop for years to come.
Josh Huff: How much does Philadelphia like Huff? Back in early March, beat writer Jimmy Kempski tweeted the Eagles believe Josh Huff has more upside than Jordan Matthews. While he may not have made an immediate impact on offense with just eight catches and 89 yards, the Eagles saw enough in him to grab him in the third round of last years draft and he could help in the return game.
Riley Cooper: There isn't a more intriguing member of the Eagles' receiver corps than Cooper when you consider his breakout performance in 2013, is huge slide in 2014 and the uncertainty about how much he'll factor into Philadelphia's offense this coming season. It was a good sign for Cooper that the Eagles didn't take multiple receivers in the draft. So where does Cooper stand? It's hard to tell based on what The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this weekend . The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote Cooper "isn't guaranteed a starting spot" after a horrendous 2014 season. However, its Cooper's blocking that keeps him on the radar - how much does Kelly value that or how much of it is cutting Cooper would result in $6.2M of dead money. Keeping him around will cost $4.8M against the cap.
Seyi Ajirotutu: He has emerged as an exceptional special-teams player, which has made him a valuable contributor even in the absence of consistent production as a receiver. Ajirotutu is a big wideout with some potential, but only caught four balls last season in San Diego and has just 24 total grabs in five NFL seasons. If he makes a contribution to the Eagles it will be as a special teams ace, something Kelly places a lot of value on and it could give him the edge of Miles Austin.
Miles Austin: The jury is still out on Austin, the injury-prone wideout hasn't had a productive season since 2012 when he caught 66 passes for 943 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games with Dallas. He dealt with various injuries during his career that has made him a huge question make entering camp. While he had his moments, he also had a hard time consistently making the game-day roster because of his health during his career. While the Eagles made a rather small investment in Austin, the soon-to-be 31-year-old was average at best last year with 47 catches, 568 yards and three scores in 15 games for Cleveland. With the injuries piling up, he has little separation skills after numerous hamstring injuries, but it's his lack of special teams play that could have him missing the cut in Philly.
Also in the mix:
Jeff Maehl: The Eagles acquired Maehl from the Texans in exchange for offensive lineman Nate Menkin during the 2013 training camp. Maehl, 26, went undrafted out of Oregon three years ago and has played mostly special teams. He's caught nine passes for 113 yards and one touchdown during his NFL career.
Devante Davis: He went undrafted in this year's draft, but at 6-feet-2 and 220 pounds the Eagles signed the UNLV product. Davis missed five games a s a senior with a broken wrist or he would have broken many UNLV records. Davis clocked forty times of 4.57 and 4.61 at the NFL Scouting Combine and some had him pegged as mid-round selection in the draft.
Rasheed Bailey: The Division III Offensive Player of the Year, playing for Delaware Valley, posted an amazing 80 catches with 1,707 yards and 19 receiving touchdowns in just 11 games. At 6-feet-2, 205 pounds he has an NFL frame but his 4.6 forty time might make him a bit of a longshot to make the team.