We knew the Philadelphia Eagles were thin at wide receiver. We even thought they might take two. But two with back-to-back selections? Two of the franchise’s top three picks in the 2014 NFL Draft?
Apparently, yes. The Birds went with yet another pass-catcher at No. 86 overall, and it’s probably no coincidence that it was one of Chip Kelly’s boys, Oregon wideout Josh Huff.
Let’s go straight to the scouting report, via NFL.com:
Nice size with a lean, tight-skinned body. Very athletic with natural balance and body control. Good speed and a fluid stride. Soft, quick hands to extend and snatch throws off his frame. Makes contested grabs. Can take a hit and hang on. Settles in zone pockets. Creates after the catch -- competitive, elusive and strong. Playmaking ability -- averaged 18.4 yards per catch as a senior. Gets after it as a blocker -- works to position, fit and sustain. Desirable temperament -- determined, tough and confident. Has special-teams experience returning and covering kicks. Works hard and wants to be coached.
Could stand to get stronger. Was not pressed at Oregon. Lacks elite explosion and top speed to pull away vertically. Limited route tree. Could stand to refine his route running. Lets some throws into his body and tends to trap some. Not a go-up-and-get-it guy (average leaping ability). Is relatively naïve through no fault of his own and off-field maturation is a work in progress. Could require emotional support and professional mentorship in order to avoid the pitfalls of NFL trappings.
Huff doesn’t possess blazing speed. He could stand to get stronger. He won’t win many jump balls. All that good stuff, and in a 5’11”, 206-pound package that is merely adequate for the NFL.
His college production doesn’t jump off the page, either. Huff had a nice senior season, hauling in 62 receptions for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns. That accounts for roughly half of his career numbers though.
But he was recruited by Kelly in college, so if anybody knows how to utilize Huff at the next level, it would be the Eagles. The question is, even you like Huff as a player, how does Chip get all these receivers on the field?
Jeremy Maclin is only signed to a one-year deal and coming off of ACL surgery, but if he’s recovered and eventually agrees to a long-term extension, he’s still the most proven, talented wideout on the team. Riley Cooper, I could do without, but just signed a five-year contract this offseason. And, of course, the Eagles took Jordan Matthews No. 42 overall.
Running back Darren Sproles and tight end Zach Ertz line up as receivers with some frequency as well.
The Eagles aren’t necessarily wrong here. Receiver depth was an issue, and Maclin’s future with the team is up in the air. Still, with so many other pressing needs that could’ve been addressed, this seems like it could be a tad excessive.
Prior to this pick, the Eagles traded the No. 83 selection—acquired in the Day 1 trade with the Cleveland Browns—to the Houston Texans for fourth- and fifth-rounders (No. 101 and 151). The former will open up Day 3 of the draft on Saturday.