Thanks to everyone who submitted questions to this week’s mailbag.
Do you think Maclin will make big plays since he’s coming off an injury? – @TheChosenGypsy
Given what DeSean Jackson has meant to this team over the last few seasons, I think Jeremy Maclin has been severely under appreciated. In just four seasons, Maclin has caught 26 touchdowns passes and, aside from his rookie year, has never had a year under 850 receiving yards. In comparison, Jackson reached the 25 touchdown milestone just last season — with almost 20 games on Maclin. Given the scheme that Chip Kelly’s offense plays off of, I think Maclin is due for a pretty big year. He’s a speedy receiver who possesses the ability to get open, and that’s really the big key for Eagles’ receivers. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit if Maclin goes for 1,000 yards in 2014.
With DeSean saying he is staying, do you still have the Eagles drafting a wide receiver? – @BenEaglesFan
Absolutely. Even if Jackson is on the roster, I still expect the Eagles to draft a wideout at the top end of the draft. Maybe not in the first round, but certainly at some point in the first two days. With the release of Jason Avant and the ineffectiveness of guys like Damaris Johnson and Jeff Maehl, there is still a lot to be desired from the Eagles’ No. 4 wide receiver. Drafting a guy that fits the Eagles’ scheme not only gives Nick Foles more targets, but it opens them up to moving a guy like DeSean.
In DeSean’s case, what happens at pick No. 22 could provide more clarity to his future. If he’s still on the roster at that point, yet the Eagles go wide receiver, his days are probably numbered.
Who are your top prospects in the draft? – @its_jared
If we’re talking strictly who might be available where the Eagles are picking, then I really like Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. He’s a tough, physical player who is solid in coverage, which is what the Eagles need. He’s more of that “center fielder” type safety the team has lacked, and he brings a certain swagger to the defense that hasn’t been felt since the days of Brian Dawkins.
Next to Pryor, Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller is another talented player. He’s a zone corner, which again is a scheme fit for the Eagles. He has very long arms, is a good leaper and would bring some young leadership to the defense.