NFC East Top 20: No. 16 DeSean Jackson

In the final 20 days before the start of the regular season, we are counting down the top 20 players in the NFC East. For a full explanation, see this post. And if you want to read any of the other posts that have run since we started this series, you can find them all here, in this link.

No. 16 -- DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles WR

(Last year: No. 17)

If not for the injury that limited him to 11 games last year, Jackson may have had his best season as a receiver. He was on pace for 65 receptions, which would have been a career high, and 1,018 receiving yards. After a frustrating 2011 that saw him used mainly as a decoy, Jackson was a more regular part of the Eagles' offense in 2012. His raw speed and his age (still just 26 years old) lead one to believe he has great potential as the No. 1 receiver in the first year of the Eagles' offense under new coach Chip Kelly.

Jackson has always been about the breathtaking possibilities. When he's used as a punt returner, he's as dangerous as any in the game. And yes, of course that factors into his ranking on a list like this. When he has the ball in his hands, he's a threat to go the distance from anywhere on the field. The issue with Jackson the past few years has been an inability to consistently get open, and it's fair to assume the inconsistent quarterback play the Eagles have had in recent seasons has factored in as well. Jackson hasn't had a 60-catch season since 2009 or a 1,000-yard season since 2010, and he's only scored six touchdowns, total, the past two years. But the ability is clearly there to do big things. And if Kelly can find a way to get Jackson the ball, there's still a chance to see that potential translate into a big-numbers wide receiver year the likes of which we've been anticipating from Jackson since he arrived in the league.

The rest of the rankings:

17. Anthony Spencer, DE, Dallas Cowboys

18. London Fletcher, LB, Washington Redskins

19. Brian Orakpo, LB, Redskins

20. Jason Hatcher, DL, Cowboys