The Philadelphia Eagles have experienced a huge amount of change this offseason. They’ve changed their quarterback, traded away their star running back, transformed their defense and lost last season’s number one wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Many discussions have focused on the trades of quarterback Nick Foles and running back LeSean McCoy, but the loss of Maclin has almost been lost among the chaos. New quarterback Sam Bradford didn’t have a huge number of weapons at his old home in St. Louis. In Philadelphia, he should find more talented receivers, but which player will become Bradford’s go-to receiver?
Let’s have a look at the candidates:
Tipped by many to have a break out season in 2015, the second year wide receiver looks like the most promising player in the receiving corps. With 8 touchdowns and 872 receiving yards in his first season, Matthews does look primed to be an NFL star. As the top receiver, Matthews will face better defenders in 2015. Does he have the talent to go toe to toe with the top cornerbacks in the game? I think that ultimately, Matthews does, but 2015 will be a bit of a down season as he adjusts to the number one role. Whilst I have no doubt that Matthews will be a top player for the Philadelphia Eagles, I think he may suffer a sophomore slump before progressing onto bigger things in his third and fourth seasons with the club.
2) Nelson Agholor
The rookie first round pick has an opportunity to make a real splash with the Philadelphia Eagles. Whilst the best defenders line up against Jordan Matthews, Agholor will be an unknown quantity for the first few games whilst he finds his feet in the professional game. Agholor’s work ethic and attention to detail has been praised since he joined the Eagles and I can see him beating Jordan Matthews’ rookie tally of 8 TDs in 2015.
3) Josh Huff
By most people’s expectations, Josh Huff was a little disappointing in 2014. I think this was largely a result of extremely high hopes from the Philadelphia faithful, rather than underperformance from Huff himself. Over the offseason, Huff has earned plaudits from his team mates and the media, as many have tipped him to improve in 2015. There’s no doubt that Huff has talent and it could well be that he becomes Bradford’s favourite receiver in 2015.
4) Riley Cooper
Ok, Cooper may not be everyone’s favourite receiver, but he became former quarterback Nick Foles’ favorite target in 2013 for a reason. He is tall, has decent hands and can be a threat anywhere on the field but especially in the red zone. Cooper is one of those players who sticks around on a team’s roster because, although he may not be the most talented player, he has an uncanny ability to beat defenders and find the end zone. I’m sure Bradford will be looking in Cooper’s direction on many occasions later this year.
5) Zach Ertz
Perhaps my favorite Philadelphia Eagle on the list. Tight end Zach Ertz has the opportunity to make the position his own this year. He has great hands and a good ability to find space in the middle of the field. I strongly suspect that Bradford will be asked to throw quick, short to medium passes, as the offenses tries to pile on the yardage in the running game. In this type of offense, Ertz could be a real threat to opponents. I can’t wait to see how Ertz develops in 2015.
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