Earlier this week BGN talked about how the Philadelphia Eagles tight ends are some of the best in the NFL. SB Nation's Danny Kelly went as far to say that they're ELITE. Now, Kelly released his wide receiver rankings. These rankings seemed to cause some controversy considering there's over 1800 comments at the bottom of the thread. The Eagles made the list again this time around but they weren't near the "Elite" with the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, or Green Bay Packers. They weren't in the "Damn good." They weren't even in the "Dynamic Duos." But they were ranked in "The Contenders." Here's what Kelly had to say:
WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Riley Cooper, WR Jordan Matthews, WR Josh Huff, WR Quron Pratt, WR Brad Smith, WR Arrelelious Benn, WR Demaris Johnson, WR Ifeanyi Momah, WR Trey Burton, WR Jeff Maehl, WR Will Murphy, WR BJ Cunningham
The Eagles have a couple of well-established and effective receivers in Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, and made two really interesting picks at the position in Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. Matthews is already getting a lot of hype in camp as the Eagles' "best receiver", and Huff is an excellent athlete with experience in Chip Kelly's program. These two could contribute right away and makes this Eagles receiver corps pretty compelling.
Had the Eagles not released DeSean Jackson, they easily could have been considered as one of the top units. But Jackson is gone and now the Eagles re-signed two veterans (Maclin and Cooper) and drafted two rookies (Matthews and Huff) to fill the void. Those four players are basically locked in to the final roster. Veteran WR and ST ace Brad Smith has an inside track on a fifth spot, while Jeff Maehl and Arrelious Benn are likely battling for a sixth space if the Eagles decide keep that many.
Let's face it: this group doesn't contain a superstar (yet). That said, the potential for high production is definitely there. Maclin is still young and will be interesting to watch in a new offense. He just needs to prove he can do it again while coming off a major injury. Cooper developed a great connection with Foles last season but is hardly the most inspiring starting receiver. Rookie Jordan Matthews has impressed in OTAs and minicamp but he's still a rookie and it's worth keeping expectations in check. Fellow rookie Josh Huff is taking repetitions with the second team and could played a limited role in his first year. The fifth and sixth receivers seem fine enough for being depth options and special teams contributors. And while Kelly has made it clear that veteran RB Darren Sproles is a "running back and not a receiver", it's easy to imagine Sproles will still be catching a number of passes.
Factor in that these pass catchers could benefit from high level QB play from Nick Foles and an offensive-friendly scheme led by head coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles WR corps isn't exactly a proven group at this point but they have the potential to be really good so I agree with Kelly's ranking of "contender."
Where would you rank the Eagles wide receivers group?