Suddenly Eagles' Receiving Corps Looks Suspect

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Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeff Maehl (88) catches a pass against Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) during the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth year undrafted wide receiver Jeff Maehl, a product of Eagles head coach Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon, gained a small amount of playing time early in the season but never demonstrated the same talent he showed at Oregon.  Perhaps a 2nd year in Chip Kelly’s offense can get him some valuable reps during camps and pre-season, but the upside of Maehl is not higher than the floor of Jason Avant.  Perhaps the most telling sign that Maehl will get increased repetitions at wide receiver during the off-season is that the Eagles have concentrated many of their free agent signings towards special teams contributors.  Maehl was a key special teams contributor with Oregon and should he survive the cut-downs later this year, it’s highly unlikely the Eagles would keep him on the roster with any intention other than production at wide receiver.

If I had to guess, I would suspect that the Eagles are going to look at taking a wide receiver early in the draft. A guy that stands out to me is Brandon Cooks from Oregon State. Cooks reminds me a lot of DeSean Jackson, and since he played in the Pac-12, Chip Kelly surely has been able to scout the young receiver better than many draft prospects.  With blazing speed and crisp route-running, the Eagles would have talent that fits perfectly with the offensive scheme that Kelly utilizes.  Another route the Eagles could run is by utilizing 2nd year tight end Zach Ertz in more offensive snaps.  Last season, veteran tight end Brent Celek played in approximately 77 percent of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive snaps while Ertz was in for less than half of the snaps a year ago.  Moving forward, I would expect to see Ertz begin to demonstrate the offensive ability that allowed Chip Kelly and company to select the Stanford alum in the 2nd round of the 2013 Draft.



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