Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
According to Pro Football Focus, DeSean Jackson has not dropped a pass all season.
When the Eagles were faced the decision to re-sign DeSean Jackson or not, the answer was really not that clear. He had just come off his least productive season since his rookie year, there were serious questions about his attitude and oh yeah... he was a drop machine.
In 2010, he actually led the NFL in drop percentage (# of drops/catchable balls) and last year was also among the league's worst offenders, dropping over 13% of the catchable balls thrown his way.
Only the most ardent optimists were arguing that all these issues would simply go away when DeSean got his money. Maybe you could argue that his attitude would improve, but his hands? How was money going to make them better?
We can't say whether it was the money or something else, but DeSean's hands have improved dramatically this season. In fact, Pro Football Focus says he is one of just 2 qualified WRs in the NFL who have not dropped a pass all year (the other is Miles Austin).
It's really just more proof of the very good season DeSean is having this year. As of now, he's on pace for career highs in both catches and yardage (around 80 rec, 1200 yards), and this is before he's even faced the three weakest pass defenses in the NFL (Saints, Redskins, Bucs), which account for 4 of the Eagles remaining games.
And even more impressive, he's doing this in a year where the rest of the offense has been terrible, his QB has struggled and the passing game overall has been mediocre at best. That's really the mark of a genuinely good WR, one that can produce even when the rest of the offense is not.
The one thing we've seen less of from Jackson this year is obviously TDs as he has just one on the season. However, TDs are somewhat luck based for WRs. As any fantasy player will tell you, this is why WRs aren't as reliable as RBs in fantasy. Because TDs are kind of random for them (see Calvin Johnson). And certainly DeSean's TD count has been hurt by the Eagles many turnovers. You'd have to think that as long as he stays healthy and produces at the level he is, TDs will come.
Beyond his production though, he's been a model citizen and teammate as well. He's been relentlessly positive, in contrast to the combative nature he took with the media last year. He hasn't been missing meetings or sulking. He's really turned into the guy that only the biggest optimists/slash homers told us he would after he got his big contract.