If you remember, the Eagles drafted not one, but two wide receivers this year. Everyone knows about the one - first-round pick Jeremy Maclin - because of his explosive play at Missouri and the fact that he was widely regarded as a top 10 prospect who fell all the way to No. 19 where the Eagles traded up to get him. And of course, everyone knows about Maclin because we are all waiting for him to sign his rookie contract and report to training camp.
As for the other receiver drafted, he didn't come with as much fanfare. Brandon Gibson, a sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State, was a likely first- or early-second day selection after his junior season in 2007 where he had 1,180 yards and nine touchdowns. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 and third-team All-America honors. But after that year the offense changed from the West Coast to a spread and Gibson struggled with the transition. He caught 57 passes for 673 yards and was named the team's offensive MVP but his numbers were lost in the team's pitiful 2-11 season.
Once he got over the season, his father, Steve, passed away in January. Then he pulled his hamstring at the Senior Bowl and couldn't run the 40 at the combine which hurt his draft stock that much more.
Now that he's here at Lehigh University, and Maclin's not, Gibson is trying to make the most of his extended reps with the other rookies and selected veterans. But Gibson said that his outlook wouldn't be any different if Maclin was here. The biggest reason is that the two play different positions at wide receiver. Maclin is an X receiver (weak side) while Gibson is a Z (strong side, along with the tight end). Still, I remember the last time a draft pick held out. When Brodrick Bunkley missed 16 days in 2006, LaJuan Ramsey stepped up and impressed the coaches and earned a spot on the team. The 6-foot, 210-pound Gibson has all the makings of a solid possession receiver, but should still make the most of these reps before Maclin and the rest of the veterans make their way to Lehigh.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:25 a.m., July 28