Eleventh and final installment in a series grading the Eagles' premium-round draft picks over the last 40 years. Today: Wide receivers.
Mike Quick (20th pick in 1982): Best receiver in Eagles history. Made five straight Pro Bowls, and during the five-year span from 1983 through 1987 he was the best receiver in the NFL, with 5,437 yards and 53 touchdowns. Only his knees, ravaged by the Veterans Stadium turf, kept him from putting up Hall of Fame numbers.
Kenny Jackson (4th pick in 1983): I’m not going to flunk him because he was at least semi-functional his first four years, averaging about 30 catches for 500 yards. But he only caught nine passes after turning 26. Only four wide receivers drafted with a top-5 pick since 1960 have finished their career with fewer yards.
Freddie Mitchell (25th pick in 2001): Give him credit for 4th and 26, but 90 catches for 1,263 yards and 5 career TDs as a 1st-round pick is terrible. What makes this pick hurt even more is that the Eagles bypassed Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, Chris Chambers and Steve Smith when they drafted Mitchell 19 years ago.
Jeremy Maclin (19th pick in 1983): Solid player during his five years with the Eagles. Missed all of 2013 but averaged 70 catches for 954 yards and 7 TDs in his five healthy seasons. Maclin and Quick are the only wide receivers in Eagles history with five straight seasons with at least 750 yards.
Nelson Agholor (20th pick in 1983): What do you do with Nelly? You can’t ignore a fantastic Super Bowl – 9-for-84 with three straight 1st-down catches on the game-winning drive. But the bottom line is Nelly averaged 45 catches for 503 yards and 3 ½ TDs in five years with the Eagles and only reached 400 yards twice. Out of 35 receivers that started at least 50 games over the last five years, only one had fewer yards (Jermaine Kearse).
Mike Bellamy (50th pick in 1990): One of only seven WRs taken in the first two rounds since 1950 who never caught a pass.
Victor Bailey (50th pick in 1983): Was second among NFL rookie wideouts in 1993 with 41-for-545. Faded to 20 catches the next year and was gone.
Todd Pinkston (36th pick in 2000): Decent deep-ball threat for a few years. Was 6th in NFL from 2001 through 2004 with a 15.1 average and had 19
catches of 40 yards or more during that span, 3rd-most in the NFL over a four-year period (behind Terrell Owens and Randy Moss) and put up very good postseason numbers. But overall averaged about 650 yards per season as a starter.
Reggie Brown (35th pick in 2005): Started off OK, averaging 50 catches for 722 yards and 5 TDs his first three years. Then fell off the face of the Earth.
DeSean Jackson (49th pick in 2008): Best deep threat of our generation. During first stint here averaged over 1,000 yards for six seasons, made three Pro Bowls, scored 41 touchdowns and made numerous unforgettable plays. Has over 10,000 career yards, and his 31 career TDs of 50 yards or more are second in NFL history to Jerry Rice’s 36.
Jordan Matthews (42nd pick in 2014): Weird one. Began career impressively. Only 10 WRs in NFL history have had more catches in their first three seasons than Matthews’ 225. But he’s done very little since and bounced around the league, including two more brief stints with the Eagles. He’s still only 27 but has only 45 catches over the last three seasons.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (57th pick in 2019): Muddled through a miserable rookie season with just 10 catches while receivers like D.K. Metcalf (58-900-7), Terry McLaurin (58-919-7), Diontae Johnson (59-680-5) and Darius Slayton (48-740-8) – all taken after JJAW – had big-time success.
Glen Young (62nd pick in 1983): Caught three passes as a rookie – one from Jaws for a 71-yard touchdown against the Cowboys – and that was the extent of his Eagles’ career.
Fred Barnett (77th pick in 1990): He made a Pro Bowl in 1992 and had two 1,000-yard seasons during his six years with the Eagles. Missed most of 1993 but averaged close to 900 yards in his five full seasons in Philly.
Chris T. Jones (78th pick in 1995): Jones was pretty good in 1996, with 70 catches for 859 yards and 5 TDs. He caught five more passes in his career and was out of the league at 26.
Billy McMullen (95th pick in 2003): McMullen caught 22 passes in 29 games as an Eagle. The best thing he did was get the Eagles Hank Baskett in a 2006 trade with the Vikings. Not that Baskett was great, but he was better than Billy Mac.
Josh Huff (86th pick in 2014): He did have a couple kick return TDs, but Huff caught just 48 passes in 34 games as an Eagle and was out of the league at the age of 25.
1st round: C
2nd round: C-minus
3rd round: D-minus
For our previous installments, click here:
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