Jeremy Maclin to fly as an Eagle -

Jeremy Maclin to fly as an Eagle

( -- As it turns out, avoiding the literal black hole that is Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders at the #7 pick of this weekend's NFL draft could be a blessing in disguise for former Missouri Tiger Jeremy Maclin. By many analysts accounts the Raiders had the worst draft of any team. With their #7 pick in the first round, Oakland made one of the most dumb-founded picks in recent memory selecting Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Raiders owner Al Davis has a love-affair with speed which must explain that despite being ranked by many as only the 5th best WR in the draft, Heyward-Bey was chosen higher, largely because he had the fastest 40-meter-dash time at the NFL Combine, .18 seconds faster than Maclin's time.

Maclin, on the other hand, had to sweat through a dozen more picks before being selected 19th by the Philadelphia Eagles, who traded up to two spots to nab the 19th pick. The reason that getting drafted in the top 10 is so significant is because of the money. According to last year's draft payouts, dropping 11 picks could cost Maclin up to $35 million. As the 19th pick though, he certainly won't be making peanuts. Last years 19th choice signed for a cool $14 million. And that is why getting drafted by the Eagles, over the Raiders or many other franchises, is a fantastic opportunity for Maclin. The Eagles played in the NFC Championship game last year and have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL the last several years. With Philadelphia, Maclin has the opportunity to win a championship. With Oakland, he would have had the opportunity to look really good in a silver and black jersey. For my money, I'll take the championship. Other than standout WR DeSean Jackson, who was drafted last year, the Eagles have little top-of-the-line talent at the wide receiver position. That could give Maclin the opportunity to step in right away next year alongside Jackson and give quarterback Donovan McNabb another deep threat. It's also worth mentioning that as one of the top quarterbacks in the league, McNabb is significantly better than Oakland's quarterback JaMarcus Russell. That deep threat helps the Eagles in multiple ways. First of all, it frees up the field for running back Brian Westbrook, which automatically makes the team more two-dimensional, something they have lacked at times in recent years. It also takes some of the opposing defenses' focus off Jackson. With Westbrook and Maclin, the Eagles have two of the most multi-dimensional players in the league at their respective positions.

And if Maclin turns out to be as good as many people think he is, those extra millions will come along in the future. Hopefully by that time he'll have a championship to bolster his resume.

Eric Duban is a Journalism student at the University of Missouri

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