"You better get ready to open that checkbook after this year Andy..." Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Jeremy Maclin hype train has roared full steam ahead so far this summer with no signs of slowing down. We noted that he was easily the most buzzed about offensive player at the teams' OTAs in the spring. ESPN's Matt Williamson predicted that Maclin would be a top 10 WR in the league within 3 years and sees him as better than DeSean Jackson. Plus, you all overwhelmingly voted him as the Eagles most likely to get the next big payday.
Not to be left out, KC Joyner has hopped on the Maclin bandwagon and has cited the fact that he's poised for a breakout as one of his reasons the Eagles are the favorites in the NFC East.
As I explained in my 2012 TFS Fantasy Football Draft Guide, there were four wide receivers who posted an 8.0 YPA or higher on at least 40 short passes and a vertical YPA (VYPA) of 10.0 or higher last year: Julio Jones, Victor Cruz, Mike Wallace and Maclin. (Note: Vertical passes are aerials thrown 11 or more yards downfield.) That's rare company to be in, and Maclin posted those numbers after an offseason that saw him battle an ailment at one point thought to be lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Maclin should be healthy to start the season, plus he is heading into a contract year.
Joyner's numbers suggest that Maclin can not only get deep and be effective, but also make things happen after the catch on short passes. Plus, in 2010, Maclin finished tied with Hakeem Nicks for the most red zone TD catches (7) in the league. The mark of a top 10 WR in the league is to be that kind of threat on every down, which is what we're hoping to see from Maclin in 2012.