Draft day is almost here, and it’s time to start evaluating some tough calls that will come our way. Jeremy Maclin is going to come around the board at some point, and he is one of the biggest risk-reward players in this draft. Is he really worth a pick in roughly the sixth or seventh round, where he is projected?
First let’s look at the good. Maclin is definitely an above-average receiver. He will play a major part of an offense that is expected to be one of the best in the league. The former Missouri Tiger is the Philadelphia Eagles’ No. 1 receiver, and many will select him purely for that reason.
When he is in the game at 100 percent, Maclin is a must-start. The problem is we don’t know how long will he be in the game, or if he will ever be at 100 percent. Maclin missed all of the 2013 season after tearing his ACL in training camp. His recovery has been slow, and a nagging hamstring injury has been bothering him in this year’s camp.
Maclin appeared in his first preseason game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his performance was both promising and terrifying. He made six catches for 43 yards, but also fell down clutching his surgically-repaired knee after he tried to make a cut.
Gamblers are probably going to put him right in their lineup next to Rob Gronkowski and DeMarco Murray without blinking an eye. Those who want to have a solid fantasy team for more than the first few weeks of the season should be a little more cautious.
Again, Maclin is a must-start when healthy. But even if his knee doesn’t come back to bite him, there is a good chance something else will. Injuries have nagged him throughout his career, and they’ve kept the very talented wideout from ever breaking 1,000 receiving yards.
The upside is incredibly tempting, which is why he’s projected to go so early. Unfortunately, the sixth or seventh round is out of the question for a player with his level of risk. Selecting Maclin almost requires you to have an extra startable receiver on the team as a safety net. His upside is just not worth that much of a commitment.