NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock recently released a list of his position rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft. Mayock ranked the top five players at each position. While his order of wide receiver prospects didn't change since the last time he released his rankings, the Eagles' need for a new wide receiver has changed due to the release of DeSean Jackson. With that said, let's revisit Mayock's top five wide outs.
|1||Sammy Watkins, Clemson||6-1||211|
|2||Mike Evans, Texas A&M||6-5||231|
|3||Marqise Lee, USC||6-0||192|
|4||Brandin Cooks, Oregon State||5-10||189|
|t5||Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State||6-5||240|
|t5||Jarvis Landry, LSU||5-11||205|
|t5||Odell Beckham, LSU||5-11||199|
Watkins is the top name and it's extremely desirable to think about him in Chip Kelly's offense. The problem is that he's likely going to be the top receiver or two off the board and the Eagles pick at No. 22. Still, it's fun to dream. Plus there's this cryptic message that Watkins tweeted (along with a number of other destinations):
Philly— Sammy Watkins (@sammywatkins) April 1, 2014
The Eagles don't really have the ammo to trade up in the draft due to only having six picks this year. They could always trade away a future first to move up, but that's a big price to pay. It also might make more sense for the Eagles to be patient and let receivers fall to them. If the WR class is so talented as many have heralded, the Eagles shouldn't need to be desperate to grab a new talent.
It's unrealistic to think a rookie alone could replace DeSean Jackson's production, but then again it's not necessarily that direct of a consequence. The Eagles have a number of other receiving options on the roster (including the tight ends and running backs) to share the increased work load.
Wide receiver doesn't have to be the pick at No. 22, and if the Eagles stay true to their "best player available" draft strategy in recent years there's a chance it won't be. The Eagles could still go defense early. But if they do pick a receiver in the first, Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr. are two names that seem realistically available and desirable. Mike Kaye discussed these names and more in a look at draft options to replace DeSean Jackson.
Which receiver(s) do you see the Eagles walking away with in the draft?