Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eagles offensive makeover

The Eagles add a bunch to their offense.

Eagles offensive makeover

Draft weekend is message time in the NFL, maybe the only time when a team tells the truth -- and not with its words but its actions.

With that:

In selecting Jeremy Maclin with the 19th pick in the first round, and trading up two spots to do it, the Eagles selected a wide receiver higher than they have since they took Kenny Jackson with the fourth overall pick in 1984. That's a quarter-century.

In selecting LeSean McCoy with the 53rd pick in the second round, the Eagles took a running back higher than they have since they took Charlie Garner with the 42nd overall pick in 1994. That's 15 years.

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Earlier, they used the 28th pick as part of a trade to acquire left tackle Jason Peters from Buffalo.

And they signed right tackle Stacy Andrews, a former franchise player from Cincinnati.

And they signed fullback Leonard Weaver.

But forget about Andrews and Weaver for a second. The last time the Eagles effectively expended their first three picks on offensive players was in 1985 (T Kevin Allen, QB Randall Cunningham, G Greg Naron; ouch). They also did it in 1982 (WR Mike Quick, TE Lawrence Sampleton, TE Vyto Kab), and 1972 (QB John Reaves, T Dan Yockum, G Tom Luken). And then you go way, way back from there. Even then -- and even if I missed one someplace -- three offensive acquisitions with the top 53 picks appears to be unprecedented, at least in the Eagles' modern era.

If that doesn't tell you about the Eagles' hopes and their concerns, nothing does. If that doesn't tell you that they want to placate quarterback Donovan McNabb with more options, more possibilities, nothing does. I know, I know, you wanted Anquan Boldin. Maclin is younger and faster but it might take longer, and that is a fair concern. But the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Bears inquired about Boldin and the Cardinals rejected their offer of the 47th pick. You wonder if it would have taken the 21st pick to get him. And if you don't really love him, and it is going to cost you $9 million or $10 million to get him, and you can get younger and faster at the same position without him, what do you do?

I wanted a really big guy for the red zone, but you can't invent him if he isn't there. Given that, I don't see how you can dislike the Maclin pick. I mean, you can see Andy Reid scheming even now. And, yes, I know you hate it when Reid schemes. But he really is pretty good at it, and pretty reasonable, except for the game or two every year when he goes off his rocker. But that is the exception. They do score a lot of points.

Reid and McNabb. It comes down to them, as always, but there is a lot to like here. If nothing else, there are new  people and new skill sets to talk about.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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