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Eagles have had success drafting wide receivers

Remember Jeremy Bloom?

Jeremy Maclin is one of six wide receivers drafted by the Eagles since 2006. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel/Staff Photographer)
Jeremy Maclin is one of six wide receivers drafted by the Eagles since 2006. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel/Staff Photographer)Read more

Remember Jeremy Bloom?

He was the last wide receiver the Eagles drafted that can truly be labeled a bust, and that may be overstating the ineffectiveness of the fifth-round draft pick.

Even if Andy Reid isn't given a pass on Bloom - who was supposed to cure the Eagles' return-game ills - the coach has done a splendid job of choosing receivers in the last six NFL drafts.

Before that, his selection of ball-catchers was, to put it mildly, about as poor as Freddie Mitchell's modesty. Reid went to four NFC championships with the likes of Todd Pinkston - but only one since 2006.

But there is no way that Mitchell and Pinkston can be mentioned in the same breath as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, two of Reid's best picks in recent years.

The Eagles' main issues over the last three years have been on defense and not on the other side of the ball, where Jackson and Maclin have assisted a high-octane offense that annually sets team records in points and yards.

Since 2006, the Eagles have drafted six receivers. That group - Jackson, Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Brandon Gibson, and Bloom - has totaled 647 receptions for 9,663 yards and 52 touchdowns, and the majority of the six aren't close to ending their careers.

Avant, the Eagles' third receiver for most of the last four seasons, has been a productive fourth-round pick. Two years later, Reid got great value when Jackson dropped into second round. The lithe, speedy receiver has been to two Pro Bowls.

Maclin came a year later when the Eagles traded up and grabbed the Missouri product with the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft. They also took Brandon Gibson in the sixth round that year. He was traded to St. Louis for linebacker Will Witherspoon, but Gibson has been more than serviceable for the Rams.

Riley Cooper more or less replaced Gibson as an Eagles project when he was selected a year later in the fifth round.

As much as Reid has made contact in recent drafts, he swung and missed a number of times early in his tenure. Mitchell, chosen in the 2001 first round, was a whiff for the ages even if he had a few highlight-worthy grabs in the playoffs.

Reggie Brown and Pinkston, second-round selections in 2005 and 2000, were by no means strikeouts, but they weren't home runs, either. Billy McMullin, Freddie Milons, Gari Scott, and Na Brown were mid-round picks that never panned out.

That group - including Troy Smith, a sixth rounder in 1999 - finished their Eagles careers with 510 catches for 7,350 yards and 39 touchdowns. Only McMullin played for another team.