While Jackson was the top receiver in Philadelphia, he may lose some receptions to his new teammates in Washington. In 2013, Pierre Garcon had 113 receptions, 1,346 receiving yards, five games with 100 or more receiving yards and caught five touchdown passes. Tight end Jordan Reed was the second-most involved in the receiving game with 499 receiving yards and three touchdown catches.
There will be some adjustments that Jackson needs to be prepared for, but Jay Gruden will make sure that the young receiver a key piece in his game plans.
Luckily for Jackson, the Eagles struggled on defense in the 2013 season and will carry those struggles into 2014. Even though Philadelphia ranked 10th in allowed rushing yards, quarterbacks had a field day against the 32nd-ranked passing defense. Even if the Eagles slightly improve from the previous year, wide receivers will still be excited any time they get a chance to play against Chip Kelly.
I am too impatient to wait and see what is going to happen the first time Jackson faces his old team, so I ran some projections on the type of stats that could occur in this first meeting. I compared Jackson to other wide receivers who the Eagles faced in 2013 purely based on their 40-yard dash times at the NFL Combine, and the results show that he should have a monster game the first time he plays his old team.
In the very first game of the regular season for the Eagles in 2013, Redskins’ receiver Leonard Hankerson scored two touchdowns and had five receptions for 80 receiving yards. He ran a 4.43, which isn’t quite the same as Jackson’s 4.35 40-yard dash time, but it shows that a speedy wide receiver can burn the Eagles’ defense.
Both Eddie Royal and Rueben Randle also had big days against the Eagles in 2013. Royal had three touchdowns and 90 receiving yards, and Randle had two touchdowns with 96 receiving yards. Royal ran a 4.39 at the Combine, and Randle ran a 4.55.
While speed will not be the only factor in determining Jackson’s success against his former team, it does provide a strong indicator that he can score several touchdowns and rack up a nice amount of receiving yards when he faces the Eagles.
Once you combine the chip on his shoulder with his blazing speed, Jackson should quickly make the Eagles franchise regret its decision.