Jun 14, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) is interviewed after practice during mini camp at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
In a piece for ESPN Insider, Football Outsiders ranked all 32 NFL teams in terms of their under 25 talent. The Eagles came in at #6. More interesting than the actual ranking though, was some of their observations. Here's what they had to say about the offense with some nice things about LeSean McCoy and Jason Kelce, but I was struck by their comments on the Eagles 2 young wideouts.
The bell cow of Philadelphia's 25-and-under talent is RB LeSean McCoy, who astonishingly is still only 24 years old. McCoy led all backs in rushing DYAR last season after finishing fourth in 2010. As a rookie starter, C Jason Kelce (25) helped open holes for McCoy and also did a good job of protecting QB Michael Vick(only one blown-block sack allowed). WR DeSean Jackson, who just missed our cut at age 26, might produce more fodder for highlight reels, but according to our metrics, Jeremy Maclin (24) has actually been a more efficient and more valuable wideout for Philadelphia over the past two seasons.
This Maclin over Jackson sentiment is one we've seen a few times this offseason, although mostly its been on a forward looking basis. But we see here that FO actually believes Maclin has been better than Jackson over the past 2 seasons.
Like I always say with this debate, its a good problem to have.
Oh and speaking of guys getting a lot of love this offseason, FO is yet another source backing up the contention that Nate Allen is pretty good.
On defense, strong safety Kurt Coleman and free safety Nate Allen are both younger than 26. Coleman was merely adequate as the replacement for former starter Quintin Mikell. It was Allen, however, who showed a huge improvement from his rookie season, finishing first among safeties in success rate on pass coverage.
BGN and Pro Football Focus writer John Breitenbach also called out Nate as breakout candidate and illustrated how he's already been better than some realize.