Replacing Desean Jackson is not an easy task. He provided the Philadelphia Eagles with a playmaking option at wide receiver that had the potential to score a touchdown on any play.
Jackson was and still is one of the most feared players in the NFL.
The Eagles ultimately decided to part ways with the Pro Bowl wide receiver and are now faced with a tough decision. Do they stick with Jeremy Maclin- who is coming off of an ACL tear- and Riley Cooper, or do they look towards the draft for Jackson’s replacement?
If Chip Kelly and the Eagles’ front office decide that they want someone new and fresh at wide receiver, John Brown from Pittsburgh St. is the answer.
Brown possesses an eerily similar skills set to Jackson. He stands at 5-foot 10-inches and 180 pounds, and is one of the fastest players entering the draft.
At the combine, Brown ran a 4.34 40-yard dash, catching the attention of countless NFL scouts. At Pittsburgh State, Brown tallied up 185 receptions and 3,378 yards in three seasons.
What is going to cause Brown to drop into the later rounds is his lack of size. He has small hands and a small frame, leaving him susceptible to injuries.
However, it was widely believed that Desean Jackson’s size would hinder him in the NFL, and he has quieted those critics.
Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin is another viable option for the Eagles to target during the later rounds of the draft.
The Eagles were the worst team in football at defending the pass last season. The signing of safety Malcom Jenkins in the offseason is hopefully going to improve the pass defense, but they still need help covering receivers on the outside.
Colvin tore his ACL after last season and has yet to fully recover. Nonetheless, until the injury, Colvin was one of the top corners in the nation.
Colvin demonstrated his versatility in college, playing both safety and cornerback, so the Eagles would be getting a player that can be moved to different spots on the field, and also defend both the run and pass.
Shaquil Barrett would also aid in the Eagles’ attempts to improve the defense, especially against the pass.
Barrett is a physical specimen at defensive end out of the University of Colorado. He was named the Conference Player of the Year and has all of the physical tools that a coaching staff would want from a defensive end. Barrett s a pure pass rusher whose game mirrors that of Baltimore Ravens defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
Barrett would fit nicely into the Eagles’ offense, given that they play both a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme depending on the situation. With a little bit of coaching and experience, Barrett could be a steal between the third and fifth round of the draft for the Eagles.
The late rounds of the draft are essentially what determine whether or a not a draft was a successful one and indicate how well the coaching staff and front office scouted the incoming players in college and at the NFL combine.
Many of the players that are drafted during the late rounds simply have not gotten the chance to prove themselves.
If the Eagles are aiming to replace Desean Jackson with speed on the outside, John Brown is the answer, but if the defense remains a top priority, then taking a risk on the one-time elite cornerback, Aaron Colvin, or the physically gifted Shaquil Barrett is the way to go.