July 12, 2017
On July 24, there will be football again, as quarterbacks, rookies, and select veterans will report for training camp. Leading up to camp, we'll be taking a look at each positional group. On Monday, we started with the quarterbacks. On Tuesday, we looked at the running backs.
Today we'll preview the wide receivers.
First, here's a look at the wide receivers likely to make the final 53-man roster:
In 2015 and 2016, the Eagles had one of the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL, if not the worst. They most definitely improved that unit with the free agent acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, but they are certainly not among the "top (fill in the blank of whatever your Eagles fan friend has unrealistically ranked them)" in the league, as we mentioned in our Eagles dumpster fire piece earlier this offseason.
• Jeffery is very talented and has put up big numbers in the past, but he also comes with some injury and suspension concerns. That said, Jeffery looked like the real deal during OTAs and minicamp, where he was easily the Eagles' best receiver.
• After a promising start to his career in Baltimore, Smith was very bad with the 49ers the last two seasons. He has to prove he's closer to the player he was with the Ravens than the one he was in San Francisco.
• Jordan Matthews is a nice slot receiver, but that appears to be his ceiling.
• Nelson Agholor's first two seasons in the NFL were atrocious, but after a decent (and I stress decent) spring, people are putting him in the Hall of Fame. Agholor suddenly being good is wholly unrealistic. We'll see.
• Hollins should contribute immediately on special teams. To be determined if he can make any kind of impact early in the regular offense.
Beyond those five receivers, I would order the rest of the group competing for a job like so:
If we're looking at the Eagles' top 5 receivers this year vs. last year, it looks like the chart below:
|2016||Jordan Matthews||Nelson Agholor||Dorial Green-Beckham||Josh Huff||Bryce Treggs|
|2017||Alshon Jeffery||Torrey Smith||Jordan Matthews||Nelson Agholor||Mack Hollins|
The Eagles are far from done rebuilding their receiving corps, but that is still a big difference.
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