Chip Kelly is no Steve Spurrier, but he sure does like his guys. In a move that had most Eagles fans saying "duh," Kelly acquired his most-prolific college receiver Jeff Maehl on Monday. Maehl was acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans for second-year offensive linemen Nate Menkin. The 24-year old was one of Kelly's top weapons during his time at Oregon and with Eagles wide receivers catching the injury bug, it seemed like the stars aligned for a reunion.
The native of Paradise, California was a three-star recruit for the Duck after playing several position in college. As a true freshmen, Maehl started as a defensive back and special teams player before converting into a starting wide receiver late in the 2007 campaign. As a wide receiver, he collected nine catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. In 2008, Maehl was the second-leading receiver at Oregon with 35 catches for 421 yards and five touchdowns.
Maehl became the featured wide receiver in 2009, when he accumulated 53 receptions for 696 yards and six touchdowns. As with most great college talents, Maehl left his best for last as he really took off in 2010. He caught 77 passes for 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns during his senior year. Maehl was named first-team All-Pac-10 for his play. During his career at Oregon, he received the team's Cargill Award (Team Impact Player) twice and is the only wide receiver to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season under Kelly at Oregon.
After a shining performance in Oregon's loss to Auburn in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game (nine catches for 133 yards), Maehl participated in the East-West Shrine Game. At the Combine, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound wide receiver ran a 4.62 forty-time. He was not selected during the 2011 NFL Draft, but was signed immediately after by the Houston Texans.
During his time in Houston, Maehl was mostly relegated to the practice squad. He only appeared in three games over his two-year tenure with the Texans. Maehl has yet to catch a pass in an NFL regular season game. He is now one of six former Ducks on the Eagles' roster along with Casey Matthews, Dennis Dixon, Pat Chung, Will Murphy and Isaac Remington.
Maehl has plenty of special teams experience from his days at Oregon and has very good hands. Dan Klausner compares him to former Colts wide receiver Blair White, while I view his game as more like the Titans' Kevin Walter. Maehl is likely a practice squad candidate but could see time if the Eagles suffer more injuries. He is a solid possession receiver, who isn't afraid to catch in traffic. While he is a bit slow, he is a very good route runner and can get open. I wouldn't be surprised if Maehl appeared in several games this season.
He may not be the quickest guy around, but he can do this:
Here are some career highlights at Oregon:
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