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Comparing the Rookie Seasons of Jeremy Maclin & Desean Jackson

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Jeremy Maclin ranks among the top NFL rookie WRs this season.
Jeremy Maclin ranks among the top NFL rookie WRs this season.

We're just past the midway point of the Eagles' 2009 campaign and I was looking at a PFW writer's list of the top rookies in the NFL so far. Jeremy Maclin was listed as "on the cusp" of the top 10, which included the Giants' Hakeem Nicks, who actually sits just behind Maclin in almost every statistical category(Less rec, less yds, same TDs). Percy Harvin is listed as #2 on the list and his stats are nearly identical to Maclin, although Harvin has been a great return man as well. The articles' omission of Maclin from the top 10 despite a very solid start and the fact that he's been twice nominated for NFL rookie of the week, got me thinking. There's been a general lack of excitement about Maclin both here and around the league, unlike last year when Desean Jackson was a near instant star. I figured that must because Jackson had an even better start...

However, after 9 games in their rookie seasons, the young Eagles WRs stats look as follows.

Maclin 31 catches 413 yards 4 TDs

Jackson 38 catches, 586 yds 1 TDs

When you considering that Maclin barely played at all and didn't register a stat in the first game of the year, while Jackson started from week one in his rookie year it makes Maclin's start look very good compared to Jackson's. Jackson has an extra game in there.

Right now Maclin is tied for the most TDs receptions among NFL rookies, ranks 3rd in receptions. 3rd in yardage, and 3rd in first down catches.

So why don't I feel nearly the excitement from fans for the start Maclin has had versus the excitement level over the start Desean Jackson had in his rookie year? Their receptions are almost the same, Jackson racked up more yardage, but Maclin already has twice the TDs than Jackson did his entire rookie year. Based on the TD stat alone one could argue that Maclin has had an even better start to his Eagles career than Jackson did. Now, Desean did display a special teams flair early on that Maclin has not, which probably did help raise Jackson's profile quickly. He's also a lot more of a flashy player and personality than the generally low key and humble Maclin, I'm sure that helped drum up the excitement for Desean as well.

So I put it to the Nation... Do you sense the same thing I do? What is exactly is it about Jackson that had you more excited than you are about Maclin? Are we just getting spoiled with good young WRs?