DeSean Jackson is the front page news following his exit from Philadelphia. Could the Eagles replace him with Brandin Cooks?
Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin speed element for Chip Kelly
Everything from money to gang affiliations were used as excuses for why the Philadelphia Eagles chose to part ways with three-time Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson despite him being just 27-years old. Was his effect in the locker room or with head coach Chip Kelly that bad? It’s really impossible to say. D-Jax claims he loved the city of Philadelphia and his time there, but certainly didn’t hesitate to get an immediate shot at revenge by signing with the division rival Washington Redskins. Meanwhile the Eagles are strapped with a conundrum. Not only do they have to play Jackson twice in 2014, they have to try and replace his speed that made their offense so explosive last season. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are excellent possession options but lack that down-the-field ability that made Jackson so dangerous. Despite lingering needs on defense this issue may force the Eagles front office to act early in the NFL draft.
Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr. offer that option in first round
The first round is expected to have some high quality options at the receiver position headlined by Sammy Watkins from Clemson and Mike Evans from Texas A&M. That doesn’t discount the later options though, especially Brandin Cooks. The OregonState star led the NCAA in receiving last year and watching his tape revealed why. In addition to have great hands, agility and route running savvy he clearly has the kind of breakaway speed that defenses dread. His ability to take short pass and turn them into touchdowns was a trademark of his game and elevated the exposure for quarterback Sean Mannion. Cooks in so many ways is exactly like DeSean Jackson: short but athletic, speedy and great at finding different avenues to get open. Then if he’s not the option there is Odell Beckham Jr. Often overlooked at LSU, he is a big play waiting to happen. His agility, vision and speed make him a threat every time he touches the ball. That is why he was such a good return man for the Tigers.
If Chip Kelly and the Eagles had designs on getting over Jackson as quickly as possible then Brandin Cooks would be a terrific place to start.