The Eagles' receiving corps took a big hit when it was reported that Jeremy Maclin wouldn't be returning and instead will be signing with the Kansas City Chiefs. Maclin was easily the best of Philadelphia's wide outs. Now it's up to the Eagles to his out how to replace his production.
It'll be hard for the team to count on Riley Cooper to pick up much of the slack. Cooper struggled mightily in 2014. Pro Football Focus determined he was the worst starting wide receiver in the entire NFL last year.
Jordan Matthews could see an increased role. The rookie pass catcher finished with 67 receptions for 872 yards and 8 touchdowns. But the problem here is that the Eagles likely don't see Matthews as anything more than a slot receiver.
Who, then, will replace Jeremy Maclin? According to Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice, don't count out Josh Huff. Kempski notes that the Eagles think Huff has more upside than Matthews, even though the Oregon alumnus didn't made much of an impact as a rookie. Well, much of a positive impact, that is. Huff certainly had a negative impact at times with a fumble in the red zone against the Cardinals and a few dropped passes.
Kempski's report isn't new, either. This isn't some after-the-fact source that spoke to him after the Eagles failed to keep Maclin. This is something he spoke about when he appeared on BGN Radio in late November 2014. Transcript:
"I’ve heard that people in the Eagles organization are very high on Josh Huff. Obviously they’re high on him because they used a third round pick on him. But even now, I’ve heard that they’re very high on him.
What you can see from him when he has gotten some opportunities is that you can see that he’s explosive once he gets the ball in his hands. He can make guys miss. He can break tackles. You can see the explosion. You can see glimpses of the speed. You can see that he’s a good blocker."
It's easy to see why people aren't high on Huff due to his rookie mistakes. But it's explosion like this (via @OhWowHmm)
And blocking like this:
...that has the Eagles believing in him still.
Huff has a long way to go before he can even be considered a solid NFL starter. For now, the Eagles seem to feel good about his future.