As we draw closer to the deadline for CBA negotiations, my sense is that there will be a season in 2011. This got me thinking, now that things are starting to look up, what can we expect out of our last two first round picks next year? I think that you'd be hard pressed to find another duo on this roster that posses as much potential and upside as these two. I also think it's safe to say that these are two of our best players. Not the two best, just two of the best.
Derrick Morgan will be in his second season and (hopefully) will get to see action in all 16 games this year. Prior to last year's injury, he was looking like a great pick and showing all of the pass-rushing prowess that made him a first rounder in the first place.
Kenny Britt, who also had his season cut short by injuries, was coming into his own as one of the NFL's best deep threats. The offense just wasn't the same without him and his injury really seemed to cost this team a lot of momentum going down the stretch. The vertical attack clearly faltered and the team just had a really tough time moving the ball.
Personally, I'm having a tough time distinguishing who I'd rather like to succeed and who I think will succeed. I definitely want Derrick Morgan to have a breakout year more than I want Kenny Britt to continue to tear it up. A big part of that is that in the back of my mind, I can start to separate the "Jim Washburn is the only reason any of these guys are good" school of thought from the "maybe position coaches don't matter as much when you have actual talent." philosophy that's kind of been forced out of me due to my jadedness that comes with having the best in the biz coach up a bunch of cast offs to become Pro Bowlers.
I'd also just like to get a good look at the kid. Four games was kind of the appetizer, I want a full sixteen to really see what he can do. He was on pace for about 9 sacks last year, so double-digits certainly wasn't out of the question.
While I think that Kenny Britt can pretty much put an offense on his back on any given Sunday as well most receivers in the NFL, I think his stats are going to suffer this year. Who knows what the QB situation is going to look like? We could end up with several different scenarios, one of which includes Rusty Smith as a full-time starter, another of which includes a rookie who starts,at the earliest, 6 games into the season after Rusty does his thing, so I'm really trying to temper my expectations on what I think Britt can do this year. Last years' Eagles game gave me some hope that maybe, just maybe, he can be "the one" and finally replace that black hole at receiver we've had for so long, but I'm not so sure that Rusty Smith is any better than Kerry Collins at this point.
The bottom line is that Britt can be a superstar cut in the mold of Randy Moss, but he needs someone to get him the ball. KC proved last year that you don't necessarily need a rifle, you kind of just need to get it there, (and a whole mess of luck, but we'll let it slide for the sake of the argument) but Rusty's accuracy was just so terrible, given that it was a small sample size, but still, that I can't say with confidence that he'll even be able to do that on a consistent enough basis to make Britt a star.
I'll withhold final judgement until it's announced what direction the team has decided to go at QB, but at this moment, I'm leaning towards Morgan.
So weigh in MCM, Britt v.s. Morgan: GO!