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WR in the draft

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This town is pretty WR obsessed… to say the least. Since the pass happy west coast offense era began in Philly, which was when Ray Rhodes came here, fans have been clamoring for top flite WRs. Unfortunately, the birds haven’t really had many.

To say the least.

Then came TO, and we all got see what this offense can do with a legit top level WR. We saw a record setting season from McNabb and a trip to the superbowl. We all know what happened next. Now despite drafting Reggie Brown last year (who we know I think can play) and signing a solid slot WR in free agency (Jabar Gaffney) I think it’s quite obvious that the Eagles have a need at WR. With Reggie Brown the being the only promising young wideout on the team, WR looks to be a long term need that should be addressed early in the draft this weekend.

Unfortunately, this is not the greatest year to be in need of a receiver. This draft has been called the weakest for wideouts in years. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t some talented players that will be there on the first day. So after some time watching individual profiles and combine workouts of the WRs on the NFL network on demand, and lots of internet reading… I give you an overview of what’s there.

Chad Jackson(Florida) is a guy who’s rocketed up draft boards since his amazing display at the NFL combine. He posted the fastest 40 time(4.32) of all WRs at the combine. He’s got average size and is a good route runner, which is very important in the timing oriented west coast offense. He‘s also known as a guy who can catch balls underneath and get yards after the catch. Plus, he’s been called “fearless over the middle”. Maybe the most intriguing thing about him is that he’s only 20, which means lots of room for improvement… although it also means he’s really only had one year starting in college. Despite his willingness to take hits, he is not a physical player and could get pushed around by pro corners. It appears now that he will be the 1st WR taken.

Santonio Holmes(Ohio State) is a smaller(5‘11“ 190), home run hitter type with good hands. He racked up and impressive 25 TDs in 3 seasons at Ohio State. He has very good speed and he will force DBs to respect his downfield ability. He isn’t the strongest guy and could have trouble blocking and getting off the jam. He should be the first or second WR taken, probably in the mid 1st round. And may I add... cool name. Santonio just seems badass to me...

Sinorice Moss from “the U” is the tiny speedster type. I may have said Santonio Holmes was small, but not this small. Moss is 5’8” 1*** lbs. He’s drawn lots of comparisons to his brother, Santana Moss. He’s a guy who makes things happen when he gets the ball and can stretch the D with his speed. He ran an impressive 4.38 40 at the combine. He’s going to have to learn to get off the jam in the NFL and deal with taller, faster DBs. He’s projected as a late 1st round pick.Also may be the only man on earth named "Sinorice."

Maurice Stovall out of Notre Dame is a local Philly kid, who the Eagles have brought in to the NovaCare complex already. He’s a big(6'4" 220) physical type WR that has been likened to Plaxico Burress type. He’s made for a good deep threat due to his tall frame and long arms and he can go up and get the ball over anyone. He’s a strong guy that has shown that he can push off press coverage. He had been considered a disappointment for most of his college career, until he blossomed last year in Charlie Weiss’ pro style offense. He’s not terribly fast however, and won’t burn anyone. His ability to outrun guys and get yards after the catch has also been questioned. I like that he’s a smart guy from a tough academic school that has shown that he can grasp a pro offense, that’s important with the very complex offense Reid runs. He should be an early 2nd round pick.

Derek Hagan out of Arizona St is an average sized guy that has been called “one of the most polished WRs in the draft.” He knows how to get open and has been very consistent throughout his college career. The thing about Hagan is that he doesn’t do any one thing spectacularly. He doesn’t have the deep play ability of a Holmes or Jackson or the physicality and size of a Stovall or great hands. He is a solid all around player though, that should be a decent #2 WR in “the league”, I wouldn’t expect a lot more.

Jason Avant(Michigan) is a decent sized(6"1 210), reliable, possession WR. He’s a gritty player that has been compared to Heinz Ward in the way that he works hard and squeezes everything he has out of his talent. He has a great double move and his ability to set up defenders makes him a great red zone threat. Considered the best route runner in the draft, but isn’t known as a very fast guy. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Those guys are probably the top 5 WRs in the draft. There’s other names that will probably be called on the first day like the speedy Demetrius Williams, the big Martin Nance, and maybe even the Penn St QB Michael Robinson who will likely play wideout in the pros. The Eagles will almost certainly address WR in the first day, who will be? Hopefully one these 5... we'll see this weekend.

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