USA Today

DeSean Jackson is still really fast

Eliot Shorr-Parks
March 13, 2019 - 7:57 am

One of the Eagles' biggest weaknesses last season on offense was their lack of speed, and the result was just 52 catches over 20 yards, good for 16th in the NFL. 

Enter the NFL's fastest player, DeSean Jackson. 

As you can see, despite playing in his 11th, Jackson was the fastest player in the league last season with the ball in his hands. The result of still having elite speed was Jackson led the NFL in yards-per-catch with an average of 18.9 yards. 

On the field, because of his deep speed, Jackson seems to be a perfect complimentary piece to the Eagles’ current offensive weapons. Part of the issue the Eagles had on offense last season was opposing defenses did not respect their ability to get the ball down the field, which shrunk the space that Wentz had to work with. The result was plenty of short passes over the middle to tight end Zach Ertz, and plenty of crossing routes to both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. 

Jackson should solve that problem. Jackson doesn’t have to catch bomb-after-bomb to be successful. His mere presence should improve the Eagles’ offense, as opposing defenses will have to respect Jackson running deep. One of the best deep threats in league history, Jackson has led the NFL in yards-per-catch three of the last five seasons, and four times overall in 11 seasons. His reputation alone, and the Eagles simply sending him deep, will improve this offense. He will make life easier for Ertz over the middle and he was take pressure off of Alshon Jeffery on the other side. Assuming he is back, receiver Nelson Agholor’s life in the slot should be easier as well. 

When the Eagles released Jackson after the 2013 season, the assumption was that eventually -- and sooner rather than later -- he was going to lose a step, as almost all athletes eventually do. 

Entering his 12th season, however, Jackson has shown no signs of slowing down. 

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