Take your pick between two receivers:
Receiver A is 22 years old. He’s 6’0, 198 pounds. In two years in the league, he’s racked up 1,790 yards and 15 touchdowns on 129 catches.
Receiver B is 23 years old. He’s 5’10, 175 pounds. In two years in the league, he’s racked up 2,079 yards and 11 touchdowns on 125 catches.
Do you want more size and more touchdowns or more yards? Receiver A is Jeremy Maclin, with his current numbers in 2010 projected over the last two games of the season. Receiver B is DeSean Jackson at the end of last season, after his first two years in the NFL.
While Jackson is viewed as the dynamic star player, at least aside from Michael Vick, on the Eagles, Jeremy Maclin is quietly emerging as a big time receiving threat.
“Jeremy Maclin’s a heck of a football player and he’s sort of overlooked a little bit, with Michael’s dynamic ability and DeSean,” said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. “He’s been a touchdown maker for us. He can score on the deep plays, and he can also catch and make the quick move—and he’s a physical guy, he’s a strong guy.”
Jackson makes more big plays – just see his touchdown return last week against the Giants or any of his four touchdowns of 60-plus yards this year, and that draws him more highlights and more national recognition. Maclin, meanwhile, averages less per catch (nearly nine yards fewer this eyar), but makes more receptions and seems to be in the end zone more consistently.
It’s a tough comparison to make, as the two surely feed off of each other. Jackson draws more coverage, especially deep down field, opening things up for Maclin. Likewise, Maclin’s productivity makes it harder to double Jackson, leaving things a bit more open for him.
But in a season in which the Eagles may have two thousand-yard receivers for the first time in franchise history (Maclin needs 110 more yards in the last two games), the Eagles No. 2 option, or perhaps No. 1B, deserves as much attention is Jackson.
The duo could wind up breaking Eagles records for years to come. A decade or so together would likely move them to the top of the Eagles record books in yards, touchdowns and receptions.