Everyone is trying to put there finger on what kind of receiver Chip will take, whether at pick # 22 or at any other pick in the draft. Some are looking for another Desean type that can take the top off of a defense with speed. Some are looking for a Big Body receiver that can be more physical and pluck the ball out of the air. Some others want someone somewhere in the middle such as a good route runner who can beat man coverage with routes and quickness.
While most people assume the answer is not out there, I think it has been clarified. For instance, people assume we just want smaller, faster guys...but to my recollection, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Chip Kelly's receivers were bigger and not as fast, while his running backs were the small and speedy guys in college. I know everyone will say that was for that particular offense, but I think Chip brought his fundamental philosophy on preferences involving heights and weights for each position, to the NFL.
Here is a quote from Chip on wide receivers and it allows you to see what an Elite receiver is and may also offer reason as to why Desean Jackson is not here:
"If you asked me to describe what you want in a wide receiver: separate from one-on-one coverage; be where you are when you're supposed to be there, with separation; and catch the football," Kelly said. "And it can come in a lot of ways. It can be the speed element of it. It can be the power and size element of it. There's a lot of different ways to cut it. There's certain guys in this league that have both, and that's why they're elite"
10.5 million dollars put Desean in talks with the league's elite receivers, however, according to this above statement, Jackson did not have what would garner an "Elite" status and would not warrant "Elite" money. So this is a football decision in saying that he does not fit what Chip defines Elite, but it is also a money issue because over paying a guy ties up resources that could be used on other positions.
Getting back on subject, Chip would love to have the best of both worlds, size and speed, so this is the first element that we should look for in our receiver. Now, a lot of you project this new receiver to be a slot guy who will not provide big production . Howie shares that sentiment.
"What we're looking for from our receivers right now is different from what we would look for in a West Coast offense under [Andy] Reid," Roseman said. "If a guy can step in and play right away, that would be ideal. But we're not looking at who's going to be the best player today. We're looking at who can be the best player two or three years from now."
So whoever we get does not have to replace Desean's production nor does he have to be a #1 receiver from day one. This means that they are not in a panic to replace Desean's production but they would like a guy who could become a #1 or an Elite receiver in a couple years. It may also be good that we are not in a panic and not banking on finding Elite WR talent in the first round because statistics do not paint a very good picture of WR success in high picks according to Howie:
"You look back at the history of receivers drafted high," Roseman said, "and the success rate at that position is lower than other positions."
Now lets look at how the Eagles evaluate and look at the Wide Receiver position:
Best competition is always going to be first and foremost," Roseman said when asked how the Eagles evaluate wide receivers. "Then figuring out if they're getting open based on their ability or scheme."
So we want to look at the competition they have faced first and foremost and then their individual ability to beat man coverage. This is harder when you think about the fact that most defenses play soft coverages and many receivers don't actually face man to man coverage as often as one may think. Lastly, there are multiple ways to beat man coverage, lets review:
"You want someone that can separate from one-on-one coverage, be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there with separation and catch the football," he said. "And that’s the biggest aspect for it. It can come in a lot of different ways. It can be the speed element of it. It can be the power and size element of it. There’s a lot of different ways to cut it."
"So anybody we’re gonna look at at wide receiver from the future here on or that’s currently on our roster is: What’s your ability to get open in one-on-one coverage? Because we see a ton of it. That’s a huge thing for us in the offseason."
So based on what we know:
1. Size and Speed in combination are the coveted traits
2. We are not looking for a first year WR to come in and be a #1 threat (so development guys not excluded)
3. Ability to beat man coverage is the "end all be all" of Wide outs.
4.Receivers drafted high don't always translate to success/production
5. Route running, quickness, size, speed, and/or power are all ways to beat man coverage
Given these explanation and responses, What receivers that fit our scheme fit these guidelines?