With the departure of DeSean Jackson to division rivals the Washington Redskins, the next thought for Philadelphia Eagles fans is how will the offense adapt without their star wide receiver?
Last season, the Eagles used Jackson not just to deliver yards and touchdowns directly but also as bait to keep the offense on their toes. With his prodigious speed, Jackson was someone that defensive co-ordinators constantly had to be aware of.
Simply having Jackson on the field opened up holes in the defense that the likes LeSean McCoy were able to take advantage of.
The loss of Jackson shouldn't be a disaster for the Eagles, however. It seems that coach Chip Kelly has already begun to lay the foundations of an offense that can post big scores without him.
Already Riley Cooper was signed to a five-year deal after his breakout season last year whilst fellow wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been brought back on a one-year deal.
Maclin is coming back from the torn ACL that ruled him out for all of the 2013 season. The issue here is how much has the injury has taken out of Maclin?
Prior to tearing his ACL, speed was one of Maclin's biggest assets. If Maclin returns to something approaching his 2012 level then the Eagles will have a consistent wide receiver in their ranks who is capable of going deep and stretching defenses. If the injury has significantly reduced Maclin's talents, however, it is still only a one year deal. There is little risk for the Eagles.
Similarly, the addition of Darren Sproles suggests some long-term planning. Although a running back, Sproles was frequently used by the Saints on passing downs last season and he should be used primarily as a pass-catcher.
The use of Sproles on passing downs makes even more sense when you remember that the Eagles already have McCoy lining up at running back. I can't see Sproles taking too many touches off McCoy.
The ace in the hole for the Eagles though is the depth of the draft in the wide receiver position. Although the Eagles have the 23rd pick in the first round, the amount of class at wide receiver means this shouldn't prevent them picking up a genuine talent even if they draft a defensive player in the first round.
Whilst the likes of Sammy Watkins are almost certain to be picked up long before the Eagles can register an interest there are still lots of options out there. It is not inconceivable that the Eagles could end up drafting either Mike Evans or Marqise Lee.
Evans is a 6ft 5 in receiver arriving in the NFL from Texas A&M where he had the advantage of Johnny Manziel throwing the ball to him. Although not the fastest, Evans' height and strength could make him a great fit for the Eagles especially if Maclin can be relied upon to provide the offense with some pace.
Lee, meanwhile, is similar to Jackson. He isn't the biggest of players but he makes up for his slight frame by possessing the speed to stretch defenses and run deep. The only issue is if Lee will be able to stay injury free. His junior season at USC was heavily disrupted with injury.
Which ever way the Eagles go however, there is life after Jackson.
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