Monday, August 28, 2006

Analyzing the Eagles WR position

Hey all, I don't mean to make this a dedicated Eagles Blog but it what I want to talk about today so deal with it.

What does the acquisition of WR Donte Stallworth mean for the Eagles WR position in general, and for slow-recovering WR Todd Pinkston (oh he that was annointed with the nickname "Stink-ston" by Michael Irvin). This is the depth chart after the move: Starters: 1) Reggie Brown 2) Stallworth (he's an instant starter for us, I only put Reggie first cause he knows the terminology of the offense)...then comes the logjam: undrafted rookie 3) Hank Baskett, free-agent addition 4)Jabar Gaffney, two draft picks 5) Jason Avant and 6) Jeremy Bloom (4th and 5th rd respectively), and holdovers 7) Greg Lewis and 8) Todd Pinkston 9) Darnerian McCants....there are a few "camp bodies" hanging around but for my purposes those are the nine guys...the problem...the Eagles will carry at MOST six wide receivers...who'se got a secure job: the first two: Reggie Brown is coming along and Stallworth gives the team a much needed speedy deep threat. Bloom will probably go on the IR (may PUP list) because nagging hamstring injuries have kept the team from really taking a good look at that relieves some of the pressure....

As for the rest: here are my thoughts
- Baskett, the undrafted rookie "phenom" has been a camp wonder who has seen limited game action but has made a couple of really impressive grabs during the live games...last two games, not so much, and I think a lot of hype around Baskett has revolved around fans reaching for something hopeful in a bleak wideout picture...that said, you don't flash that much without giving the coaches a reason to keep you around....prediction: he makes the final roster.

- Jason Avant - the 4th round WR out of Michigan, the Eagles didn't spend a 4th round pick to cut the guy in his first camp...he's made a couple of decent catches over the middle...prediction: he makes the final roster based on draft position and potential (for the record that's 4 of 6 possible spots)

- Jabar Gaffney - a free-agent acquisition, he signed a 1 year offer so the Eagles are not beholden to him in any meaningful way...brought in to be the #3 slot receiver, he's supposedly a decent route runner with over-the-middle toughness....and he did manage to catch 70 passes from Houston QB David Carr last year (when Carr wasn't getting flattened thanks to his turnstile O-line)....prediction: he makes the final roster unless someone REALLY shows something in the 5th and Final preseason game that absolutely forces the team to make him expendable) - thats 5 of 6 roster spots

- Bloom - Like I said, the Eagles haven't seen enough of him to put on the 53-man roster...but he's got some promise, enough to try and stash him on the IR if possible

That leaves the holdovers: Lewis, Pinkston and McCants....If I had my pick: I'd take Greg Lewis...not just because he caught a 61-yd TD against the Steelers, its more than that...he may have regressed last year, but that's because he's a #4 (#3 guy max) for an NFL team...a sneaky fast guy that you slip out there and try and play against the opposing defenses #4 cornerback or a safety. He did fine in that modest role two years ago (the presence of T.O. helped too)...
As for McCants, he is a possibility IF the decision is made purely with regards to special teams, McCants has shown some decent ability on ST, especially as a gunner, he got size and speed...a #6 WR probably won't be seeing the field too McCants is a potential keeper (but a decided longshot)...

who does that leave out in the cold, Pinkston...sorry dude, but you just have not shown enough in camp or the preseason games to justify replacing another WR on this roster...He says he feels fine, but he has shown next to nothing (other than being on the field) in game action.

So if I was making the decisions: G-Lew would get the 6th and final spot...but then again, I am not making the decisions, stay tuned....

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