As you look ahead to the 2011 NFL season, you can’t help but notice how much talent the Eagles have on their roster. Is this a team that should content for a championship? It’s hard to argue that they won’t be a contender.
However, just how talented is this team? Do they have players that can lead them to the Lombardi Trophy? Are there any players on the roster that could find themselves in Canton one day?
It’s an interesting topic. The team has a lot of youth on it, so it’s kind of hard to project. Players get injured, and sometimes their numbers just fall off.
For the sake of fun, let’s take a look at some guys who may have a shot at the Hall of Fame some day.
As an Eagles fan, one of the most exciting things to watch last year was the resurrection of Michael Vick. It wasn’t his first year back in the league, but he got an opportunity as a starting quarterback again and took full advantage of it.
Vick had some phenomenal performances last season, and he showed that he may be a better quarter now than he ever was. He was absolutely electric. With the offense under his control, he showed us the play-making ability he had in Atlanta, but took it to a whole new level.
Everyone has always enjoyed watching Vick make plays with his legs, but many people have doubted him as a pocket passer. In 2010, Vick took all the weapons the Eagles have on offense and showed us just how well he can perform throwing the football.
Vick is going to spend a few more years with the Eagles and their play-makers. If he can play like he did last season, and end his career with a championship, Vick may be a legitimate option to join the NFL’s elite in Canton.
Is any receiver in the NFL right now more electric than DeSean Jackson? Sure, you can knock his size. You can argue that he’s not a true number one receiver. It doesn’t matter. Jackson has dealt with these comments since entering the league and has proved everyone wrong.
This little guy from California has a big heart. The only thing bigger than his heart is the threat he possesses to make a big play whenever he touches the football. He has the ability to burn corners deep, or make just about anyone miss in the open field.
He’s been in the league for a short period of time, but Jackson has made a name for himself. He’s made it to the Pro Bowl as both a receiver and a return specialist, and will continue to be a major threat as long as he remains in the NFL.
It’s hard to watch Jackson’s highlights without being wow’ed, and this “wow factor” is something voters will remember.
LeSean McCoy is another player that hasn’t been in the league very long, but has really made a name for himself. It hurt when Brian Westbrook left Philadelphia, but McCoy has picked up right where Westbrook left off.
After a promising rookie campaign, McCoy came back in his second season and was even stronger. He eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark rushing without getting the type of carries that most 1,000 yard running backs do.
The promise McCoy has shown as a runner is nothing compared to what he has shown as a receiver out of the backfield. He’s an ideal dual-threat running back and should continue to be a big threat for many, many years.
As a rookie, he struggled in pass protection. However, he kept working on it and has become much better. If McCoy wants something, he’ll work at it until he finds perfection.
This type of attitude is what will make him a great running back.
The Eagles went a long time without having a strong group of wide receivers. This is why one year after drafting DeSean Jackson, the Eagles moved up in the draft to get Jeremy Maclin.
He may not be as flashy as Jackson, but it’s hard to deny the talent that he has. Having a guy like Jackson lining up across from you helps, but I wouldn’t hesitate to say that he’d find success just about anywhere else he went.
Maclin is a smart player that has the ability to get behind the secondary but also has the ability to find gaps in coverage and create openings for himself.
In a short period of time, he’s shown that he has all the tools to be an extremely talented wide receiver. Maclin has a great work ethic, and as scary as it sounds, he’ll only get better as time goes on.
Will the Eagles let Akers walk when free agency opens? All signs indicate that they will. However, Akers has been a staple on this team for a long time. He’s been a guy you can rely on.
Kickers don’t get a whole lot of glory, but Akers has been like wine. He’s gotten better with age. Will he perform at a high-level next season? I full believe that he will. In the business that is the NFL, everyone has to be replaced at some point, and the Eagles felt it was time.
He won’t go out on a high note with his playoff performance against the Packers, but that’s a small bump in the road for a guy that’s had a career in Philadelphia like Akers has.
For countless years, Akers has been one of the top kickers in the league, and the Eagles were extremely lucky to have a guy like him.