This years NFL draft was apparently very speculative. The reports I read (which admittedly wasn't many) had Knowshon Moreno possibly slipping to the eagle with the 21st pick, and some had Maclin going 7th.
Instead, Moreno went earlier to Denver, and Maclin slipped past the top 15 and the Eagles traded down 2 spots to get him at 19.
This seemed to shock most of the ESPN analysts, who in my opinion are really nothing short of backyard draft specialists. The same ones who look at a team and think, "they need this position", and that is who they believe should be drafted. Quality player or not.
Lest anyone think this was a bad move, I will unequivocally state that this move just shows how genius the Eagles front office is when it comes to building winning teams. And a winning team they are.
Maclin led all players last year in all-purpose yards. He scored 13 touchdowns (1+ a game) averaged over 10 receptions a game, and is literally a freak when it comes to yards after catch numbers.
He will fit in quite well with the Eagles offense. Think about Maclin, Jackson, Curtis, Westbrook spread out in the slot, and McCoy (they're second round pick) in the back field. I challenge any defensive back field in the league to stop that combo. That is of course if McNabb can keep the ball from throwing the ball at their feet.
The McCoy pick was more surprising in the sense that he was still there when they got him. Yes, he's small, and yes, he came out a year early, but the kid is a stud. He will certainly take some of the load off Westbrook, and will challenge defense to figure out who to spy and who to double team.
Most fans who don't get it will not like this pick. They will regurgitate the surprise and, some could say disappointment of he ESPN talking heads, and scream that there's another lost opportunity for the birds. But in reality, what else was there to do? Could they have made a better pick?
There was talk about trading with Cleveland for Braylon Edwards, and a pick, but that fell through. Edwards holds the dubious stat of having the most dropped balls of any receiver over the last two seasons (I can't believe it's not Owens, but I read it on the internet, so it HAS to be true). Boldin from AZ was a possibility but being a fan for 30 years, you realize that the organization, especially how Laurie and Banner have shown how they like to run it, probably decided that the $10mil a year he would demand was just not going to happen.
If you have paid attention in the off season, you realize that the trade for Jason Peters from Buffalo started this whole thing. The loss of Runyan, who quite possibly could be one off the top 10 to ever play left tackle in the league, was devastating for McNabb. The question became who would replace him, or moreso, how would they replace him?
Via the draft felt like rebuilding but with the talent still left on the team and the parity in the league, there was still an opportunity to take another shot this year. Acquiring Jason Peters made it obvious that the Eagles were looking for offensive impact players right away. Maclin foots that bill immediately.
He has some downside which is his ability to run routes, but that can be improved on pretty quickly. I don't think Maclin was the type to ever have to worry about route running in college when he was used all over the field. Obviously the NFL is a different place and he will step up or be cut. But a guy with his talent, intelligence, and just the fact that he comes from a winning organization in the NCAA speaks volumes for his potential in the NFL.
I can tell you this. Whether or not you are a fan who likes the pick, you will be waiting with great anticipation for the arrival of J-Mac to camp. July can't get here fast enough! Congrats to the Eagles and their fans. Agree with it or not, we got a stud player.
Start the Hate....