How the Eagles’ Offensive Talent Stacks Up

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonCompared to most of the Donovan McNabb-led teams, the Eagles are stacked at the skill positions on offense.

But how does the Birds’ talent compare to teams around the league?

Each summer, Michael Lombardi of NFL.com puts out his list of blue-chip and red-chip players. Click on the link for a full explanation, but here’s the basic version: Blue-chip players are among the top-five at their position, and red-chip players are among the top 10.

When first considering it, you’d think the Eagles would have a pretty good showing on the list, specifically on offense. But you’d be wrong.

According to Lombardi, the Birds only have one offensive player among the top 10 at his position, and that’s LeSean McCoy, who earns blue-chip status.

Michael Vick is not among the top-10 quarterbacks. The top-five are Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. I don’t think you’d find many who’d argue that Vick belongs in that group right now. But what about the red-chippers? Lombardi’s got Cam Newton, Matt Schaub, Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers and Matthew Stafford.

Vick was a red-chipper on last year’s list, but didn’t make the cut this time around.

The Eagles were shut out at wide receiver too, and keep in mind that Lombardi went with 15 red-chippers in this category. I don’t think anyone would argue that DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin are among the top-five receivers in football, but you could certainly make the case for them in the second group, which includes Buffalo’s Steve Johnson and the Saints’ Marques Colston. Lombardi named Jackson a red-chipper in 2011, but he’s been bumped for now.

Perhaps the Eagles player who was left off and most deserves to be on as a red-chipper is Brent Celek. Celek finished seventh among tight ends last year with 811 yards, tied for sixth in plays of 20+ yards (14), 11th in receptions (62) and first in yards after the catch. He’s also made great strides as a blocker and has never missed a game in five NFL seasons.

Here are the red-chip tight ends listed ahead of him: Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis, Tennessee’s Jared Cook, Detroit’s Brandon Pettigrew, Green Bay’s Jermichael Finley and San Diego’s Antonio Gates.

And finally, the offensive line. Jason Peters would be mentioned if he were healthy. Lombardi had him as a red-chipper last year, although he would almost certainly deserve blue-chip status after a terrific 2011 campaign. Evan Mathis was considered, but ultimately left off. And Jason Kelce was not among Lombardi’s top-10 centers. That’s one that could change by next summer.

So, what do you think? Do any of the Eagles players left off deserve to be on? And which of them will make the leap in 2012?

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • Kahn

    Lombardi doesn’t like the eagles. He always finds ways to shoot them down in his articles. He also happens to be a complete moron who gets obsessed with players very easily. its a joke that Vick wouldn’t be considered ahead of Joe Flacco or Matt Schaub. Celek should definently be a red chip player too.

  • http://twitter.com/adonte1 Sensei

    The offensive linemen definitely deserve their spots I understand Peters but Mathis and Herremans deserve those spots they’re definitely underrated

    • GoBirds

      What is With the love for Mathis. He is average, whether it is mental or physical he makes big mistakes, ie the whiff that got Vick killed this pre season. You cannot have that kind of breakdown right up the middle. Kelce, Watkins and Mathis need to tighten it up this year. There is going to be enough extra help to the King. GoBirds!

    • xlGmanlx

      I think we will find out if Mathis is that good or that Peters was just that dominate that he benefited from being next to the best tackle in football. Imagine if Foles becomes the starter next year, you could have Peters watching his blind side, and back to a premiere position on the team. That could allow Bell to slide to another position.

  • Kahn

    Lombardi doesn’t like the eagles, he loves them. He always finds ways to shoot them down other teams in his articles to make the Eagles look better. He also happens to be a complete genius who doesn’t gets obsessed with players very easily. its a reality that Vick wouldn’t be considered ahead of Joe Flacco or Matt Schaub. Celek should definently be a red chip player too.

  • aub32

    I disagree with the status of Jackson, Celeck, and Vick. All 3 of these players should definitely be in the red chip status. However, I think most national media guys are going to be down on the Eagles players due to the problems last year. That’s all the more reason for the team to go earn the respect and praise they were freely given last year.

  • yat

    tend to agree with most of Lombardi’s views re: the Eagles offensive guys. Celek should’ve been a red-chipper though. Can’t say DJax or Mac are top-15 WRs right now. Hopefully one (or both?) will be on next year’s list

  • poetx

    leave ‘em all off and let ‘em play with a GREEN chip on their shoulders all year, and we’ll see what’s what at the end of the season.

  • jabostick

    Celek and Mathis should’ve been in for sure. Vick and DJax deserved their drops, Maclin’s not there yet. Not that these lists matter but better to be in ‘prove em wrong mode’ than the ‘we look amazing on paper mode’ of last year.

  • thefadd

    that list is horrific. Marshawn Lynch a blue chipper? DeAngelo Williams a top 10 NFL running back? He’s the third best back on his own team!

  • Mac

    Haha, Lombardi is a complete waste of time, but thanks for the laugh Sheil.

  • g b

    M Lombardi is always wrong. I don’t know how that guy has a job as an analyst. He is an idiot. He picked the redskins to win nfc east last year. That being said we don’t have that many of the top players and I always thought this year’s (and last years) talent was inflated.

  • daveH

    AGREE COMPLETELY with POET X !!!
    how about blue chip coaches Sheil ?? oh Andy wud be top5 for owners BOTTOM5 for fans !! and our D coach whatshisname wouldnt even be on the survey at all

  • http://twitter.com/SouthJerseyJava South Jersey Java

    Lombardi is an Eagle hater by birth…, always favors NY Giants. Hope we make him eat his ratings.

  • PK_NZ

    I hope all the analysts will dismiss the Eagles, I truly hated the dream team stuff last year and the more under the radar we can go the better…

  • eaglecordova

    As long as the Eagles win as a team, who cares.