After releasing superstar receiver DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ draft strategy may have taken quite a turn. The Eagles were primed to focus on drafting different defensive prospects, as it already had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL last season. Even though the offense will still be productive this season, losing Jackson will definitely leave a hole at the receiver position. Finding someone to be the next No. 1 receiver may be one of the Eagles’ top priorities in the draft.
However, because of how much help the Eagles need on defense, they may not spend a top pick on a receiving prospect. With a desperate need to fix the secondary in the draft, and one of the deepest receiving classes, the Eagles could wait and draft a late-round prospect who could still make an impact right away.
Enter receiver Martavis Bryant.
In this year’s draft, whenever someone mentions a receiver and Clemson, everyone thinks of Sammy Watkins, the top receiver in the draft. However, scouts are overlooking one of the better prospects in the draft in Bryant. Because of how many talented receivers there are in the draft, many have not even considered Bryant to be a good receiver. When broken down, he is one of the most talented prospects in the draft, and whichever team ends up with him could have a mid-round steal.
This team should be the Eagles.
With Jackson gone, Bryant could immediately find his spot in the starting roster for Philadelphia. At Clemson, he was a fast, vertical threat who could stretch the field, similar to what Jackson did in Philadelphia. At 6-foot-4, 211 pounds, running a 4.41 forty yard dash, he is the big, fast receiver the Eagles need. He has more size than Jackson does, which could help him against some of the bigger cornerbacks in the NFL. He was known for having quick footwork, and being able to have a wide catching range. Bryant seems to have all that tools to make it in the NFL.
With Watkins as his teammate, he would run vertical routes to help stretch the field while Watkins ran shorter routes. This is something the Eagles really need with Jackson gone. He would be able to open up routes for Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, who both can run great, shorter routes. He would be able to be productive in the Eagles’ offense right from training camp.
There are a couple of concerns about Bryant and his production. He is not the best route runner, and is very one-dimensional as a receiver. There are concerns about his durability, as he has a more lanky frame. Also, he isn’t the most physical receiver in the draft, and can learn to fight off some defenders.
This all shouldn’t scare the Eagles away from drafting him with a second round pick in this draft. He just needs to coached properly, and he can be an impact player for the Eagles — if he falls to Philadelphia in the draft.