The Philadelphia Daily News - Eagletarian
Les Bowen, Daily News Staff Writer
UPDATED: To read about second-round pick LeSean McCoy, click here
How about that -- a wide receiver in the first round, 19th overall, after a tradeup with the Browns. The Eagles hadn't taken a wideout this high since Kenny Jackson went fourth overall in 1984. A tradeup two slots, which cost one of the Birds' two sixth-round picks, 195th overall. Obviously, the Eagles were pleased to see Missouri wideout Jeremy Maclin last this long. The NFL Network's Mike Mayock looks like a genius -- as far as I know he's the only person who had the Birds taking Maclin, in his final mock, Mayock correctly predicting that Knowshon Moreno would be gone.
When do they get a running back? Well, unless something changes, the next pick is 53rd, in the second round.
Andy Reid just addressed the media, calling Maclin "very intelligent, very fast."
Reid indicated the Eagles had targeted another player -- Knowshon, perhaps? -- but presumably after that player disappeared, they were excited to see Maclin sliding. Many mock drafts had him going in the top 15; almost no mock drafts had Maryland wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey going in the top 15, but that's Al Davis for you. He took Heyward-Bey seventh, leaving Michael Crabtree for San Francisco at 10, where ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. had Maclin going in Kiper's final mock draft. Then came a long string of teams that weren't looking for wideout help.
The Eagles decided they were, and Reid said when they heard a couple of other teams also were looking at moving up to take Maclin, they made a deal with rebuilding Cleveland, which seems to have the goal of stockpiling as many picks out of this draft as possible.
Reid said the Birds talked to Maclin at the Combine, but did not bring him in for a visit, because they figured they had no shot at getting him.
"We thought he was going to go quite a little bit higher than he did," Reid said.
"I think it worked out for the best," Maclin said in a conference call with reporters at NovaCare. "I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I can't complain, going to this organization ... They've got all the guys in the right spots to be contenders every year, one of the best quarterbacks in the league, you've got (Brian) Westbrook, (Kevin) Curtis, DeSean (Jackson) -- I couldn't ask for a better situation."
Maclin confirmed that he'd had very little contact with the Eagles, except for the combine.
Jackson set a pretty high standard for rookie wideouts and returners. Maclin said he thought he could match that.
Reid said Maclin "kind of fell in our lap." He said there are "a lot of things you can do with him."
Maclin played in a spread at Missouri, often as a kind of H-back. Reid talked of "flexibility and versatility."
Obviously, this ends the Anquan Boldin drama, from the Eagles' end, anyway. Shockingly, agent Drew Rosenahaus' prediction that Boldin would be traded by the end of the first round today did not come true. Could the Eagles have traded their pick and gotten Boldin, instead of Macklin? Probably. But they didn't do that and no one else in the first round who needed a wideout did that, either. That would include the Giants, who took a guy I liked a lot, North Carolina wideout Hakeem Nicks.
Until Boldin actually gets traded, nobody knows what it would have taken to get him, despite ESPN's breathless "updates" of things that apparently never happened.
For more from Maclin and Andy Reid, click here for the transcripts.
Here is some background on Maclin:
Hometown: Kirkwood, Mo.
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds at combine
Early entry: Played two seasons at Missouri before declaring for the draft after his sophomore year
Numbers: Scored 32 times in 28 games … Third player in NCAA history to average more than 200 all-purpose yards per game for his career … Set major college freshman record for all-purpose yards with 2,776. Scored 16 TDs on 199 touches … As a sophomore, became sixth player in NCAA history with more than 2,800 all-purpose yards in a season … Second player in history with more than 2,000 yards receiving and 2,000 yards in kickoff returns in a career … For his career, averaged 73.18 yards per game on kickoff returns, 82.68 yards per game receiving, 20.61 yards on punt returns and 23.86 yards rushing … First freshman in school history to earn first-team All-America … First Big 12 player to score on a kickoff return, punt return, rushing attempt and reception in multiple seasons.
As a receiver: As a freshman, second on the team with 80 receptions for 1,055 yards (13.2 avg) and nine scores. As a sophomore, was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver … Sixth player in Big 12 history to catch more than 100 passes (102) in a season, gaining 1,260 yards (12.4 avg) with 13 touchdowns … 22 of his 55 first-down catches in 2008 came on third down.
As a returner: 1,346 return yards in 2007 was 2 yards short of the NCAA record. Had two touchdowns with a 12.3-yard average on 25 punt returns and a touchdown with a 24.2-yard average on 43 kickoff returns … In 2008, tallied 270 yards on 23 punt returns (11.7 avg) and a TD,
As a runner: In 2007, was second on the team with 375 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 51 carries (7.4 avg.). In 2008, was second on the team with 293 yards and two scores on 40 carries (7.3 avg).
Well, Denver was supposed to draft for defense at 12, but it took Knowshon Moreno. The Broncos signed every running back in free agency -- Correll Buckhalter, LaMont Jordan, J.J. Arrington. Now they've drafted the guy much of Eagles Nation coveted. Are they installing the single wing, or what?
More important, what do the Eagles do now? We don't know if they coveted Moreno as much as their fans did. They certainly could get another running back at 21 -- they might even be able to trade down and get a decent one. Defensive end Robert Ayers is still on the board, as we type. A cornerback, maybe? Tight end Brandon Pettigrew?
He doesn't fit the Eagles' offense, in terms of his receiving rep, but if "Beanie" Wells is there, do you have to take him?
We'll find out eventually.
In the meantime, RIP Bea Arthur.