Jackson-Bowman sign now

The goal of this petition is for Andy Reid and Eagles management to acknowledge and carefully consider the recommendations of the Philadelphia fans. That pleading recommendation, through this petition, is for the selections of Wide Receivers DeSean Jackson and James Hardy/Adarius Bowman in rounds one and two of the 2008 NFL Draft.



Why DeSean Jackson?

DeSean Jackson is arguably the best all around Wide Receiver in the draft. The one and only knock on Jackson, however, and possibly the primary reason why we feel Eagles management may decide to pass him up, is his size. At 510 and 169 pounds, DeSean Jackson isnt the big physical Wide Receiver that the Eagles have been searching for, after all.

However, DeSean Jackson is a safe choice because his selection kills to birds with one stone. As Eagles fans are frustratingly aware, had the Eagles had a return man in 2007 they probably would have made the playoffs. With Jackson, the Eagles have an opportunity to draft one of the best in the business. DeSean Jackson is a player that can make an immediate contribution to this football team in an area of desperate need.

Jackson has Hester-like return potential, but at the same time is as explosive as they come on offense. His explosiveness and versatility would take a great deal of pressure off of Westbrooks back and would undoubtedly create one of the most electrifying tandems in the NFL, while also adding the playmaker at Wide Receiver that Donovan Mcnabb (or Kevin Kolb) so desperately needs.

To those that say small Wide Receivers cant succeed in the NFL, tell that to Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Steve Smith.



Why Adarius Bowman?

Lets face it, the Eagles red zone production in 2007 was awful. It was perhaps one of the primary reasons why the Eagles didnt make the playoffs. The common sense choice to address this pressing need would be the selection of Indiana scoring machine, Wide Receiver James Hardy.

Hardy is commonly referred to as a terror in the red zone, and rightly so. At 66 and 217 pounds, he would seem the perfect fit for the Eagles. And with 36 touchdowns in just three seasons, his consistency and productive value are well established. However, there is no reason to attempt to move up in the draft, risking a 3rd and/or 4th round draft pick and possibly even cornerback Lito Sheppard, to assure the selection of Wide Receiver James Hardy. If he falls on their laps on schedule in round two, so be it, but if he is selected before then there is no need to worry.

Adarius Bowman is perhaps the most underrated player to enter the NFL draft in quite some time. He will likely be available in round two, and yet he was projected as being a Top 15 pick at the start of the 2007 season. So why did his draft stock fall off the charts?

For one, he did get into trouble at his original college, North Carolina, where he rarely saw action as it was. He was deactivated for the 2005 season due to a failed drug test. For this reason specifically he is referred to as a prospect with potential character issues.

A top recruit coming out of High School, ranked among the top 15 Wide Receivers in the country at the time, Bowman chose North Carolina as his college of choice. Despite being given little chance to showcase his talents in his first two years, Bowman made the best of his opportunities, catching 28 passes for 510 yards and 5 touchdowns. These stats might seem unimpressive to the casual sports fan, but it is important to consider that Bowman averaged 18.2 yards per catch in those years, which is exceptional.

After an inactive 2005 season, Adarius Bowman found a welcome home at Oklahoma State University where he posted two straight 1,000 yard seasons with 20 total touchdowns to finish out his collegiate career. Top prospects Limas Sweed and Malcolm Kelly couldnt even manage one such 1,000 yard season.

Another set back was Bowmans late season injury that caused him to sit out two games (and yet he still managed a 1,000 yard season!). Scouts questioned his durability. Timing had more to do with that doubt than actual time spent on the bench crippled by injury.

The next knock on Adarius Bowman is his sub-par speed. He ran a 4.67 40-yard dash, which is considered slow for a Wide Receiver. It should be noted that Terrell Owens, of almost identical build, ran an almost identical 40 with a 4.64. One of the best rookie Wide Receivers the NFL has ever seen, Anquan Boldin of the Arizona Cardinals, also ran a slow 40-time with a 4.71.

Like Owens and Boldin, Bowman is a big play threat that can do damage after the catch and is a threat to take it to the house on any given play. In 2006, Bowman caught touchdown passes from 75, 69, 64, 55, 54, 45 and 34 yards out. Obviously he has the ability to stretch the field regardless of what his sub-par 40-time suggests.

Another impressive stat worth noting: In 2006, in a game against Kansas, Bowman caught 14 passes for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns!

Bowman may have had a poor Senior Bowl performance, but considering the consistency and dependability he represented throughout his collegiate career, it is safe to say he was simply having a bad day.

With Bowman you get the complete package. A big, physical Wide Receiver, at 64 and 223 pounds, he is just the size the Eagles are looking for. Bowman has excellent hands (if we ignore the Senior Bowl fluke) and has a knack for making the spectacular grab. Bowman is reliable when it matters. He is also a decent route runner, something the Eagles have also lacked for quite some time. Bowman has big play potential, as demonstrated earlier. As an outstanding blocker, (according to most scouts) Bowman would be a great compliment for Westbrook on the edge. And Bowman is about as versatile as they come. Many have looked at him as a Running Back or Tight End rather than a Wide Receiver (once again due to his questionable speed), and this happens to work in the Eagles favor with L.J. Smith potentially nearing the end of his career as an Eagle. Bowman could easily make the switch to fill in the gap if need be. However, all indications seem to suggest that Bowman has the potential to excel at his designated position.

Adarius Bowman could very well be the next Terrell Owens or Anquan Boldin and would be a great compliment to DeSean Jackson in the offense of the future. Bowman fits the Eagles desired model of a big, powerful go-to receiver perfectly, and there is no need to move up in the draft or trade current players to pick him up!



Why Two Wide Receivers Back To Back?

The Eagles have passed on terrific Wide Receiver prospects year after year after year. This year the Eagles have an opportunity to give McNabb the weapons he so desperately needs. DeSean Jackson and Adarius Bowman give the Philadelphia Eagles great variety and youth on offense. There is no better return man in the 2008 NFL Draft than DeSean Jackson, but by drafting Jackson the Eagles miss out on Sweed, Kelly, and potentially Hardy; the big bodied receivers this team needs. But with Adarius Bowman likely available, the Eagles can draft the physical Wide Receiver they desire in round two, tending to their return needs in round one, and create the best possible balance of speed and power -- lightning and thunder -- to begin to mold the offense of the future.

With this draft plan, the Eagles need not risk any draft picks or current players in trades to address their needs at Wide Receiver. With Jackson and Bowman, the Eagles address both of their major weaknesses of the 2007 campaign. There is no need to trade a stand-out defensive back like Lito Sheppard to bring in a Wide Receiver when there are two outstanding prospects that are likely to be available in the draft without trading up. With the pick up of Asante Samuel, keeping Lito Sheppard adds tremendous depth to a position that was severely lacking such depth in the previous year.

But what about Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis, Greg Lewis and Jason Avant; what will become of them? The addition of two top tier receivers out of the 2008 NFL Draft would likely be cause for concern to the frequently maligned bunch at wideouts. The fact is, they havent produced, not that they dont have the potential. Perhaps the addition of two top competitors at that position will help elevate their game as they fight for starting positions. A few cuts would be expected before, during and after preseason, but in the end the competitive spirit would likely lead to better production and execution whether or not Jackson and Bowman play a major role on the offense in the upcoming season.



Other Position Priorities?

The Wide Receiver position is the screaming priority in this draft. For Safety, there are several intriguing sleeper prospects that are likely to still be available in round three. As for the offensive line, the Eagles have wasted enough valuable draft picks on that position in the past decade and it is time to address the other pressing needs and put the o-line on the backburner until next year, if not later in the draft. They had their turn. Sure, Thomas and Runyan are nearing the end, but theyre still great tackles and we have bigger fish to fry.



We, the loyal fans of Philadelphia, have waited patiently year after year for the deficiency at the Wide Receiver position to be attended to, and with a golden opportunity now staring the Eagles organization right in the face, we the fans refuse to sit back and be silent. We may not be well paid scouts or expert analysts, but we know our team inside and out. We know what we need and what we don't. With such a terrific opportunity to fill pressing needs and take this team to the next level, we the fans feel it necessary to petition for the cause of the selections of DeSean Jackson and James Hardy/Adarius Bowman in rounds one and two of the 2008 NFL Draft. Thank you.

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Dale WattsBy:
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Andy Reid and Philadelphia Eagles Management

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