More Sports:

April 11, 2017

Dorial Green-Beckham has an uphill climb just to make the Eagles' 2017 roster

During the 2016 season, Nelson Agholor received the bulk of the criticism aimed at the Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver corps, however, Dorial Green-Beckham might have been even worse.

A month ago, we tallied up all the Eagles' drops on the season, and came up with the following. As you can see, Green-Beckham led the team with 12 drops, letting an atrocious 25 percent of catchable passes slip through his grasp:

 PlayerDrops Catches Drop % of catchable passes 
Dorial Green-Beckham 12 36 25% 
 Jordan Matthews73 9.9% 
 Nelson Agholor36 14.3% 
 Trey Burton37 9.8% 
 Darren Sproles52 7.1% 
 Kenjon Barner28.6% 
 Zach Ertz78 2.5% 
 Byron Marshall25% 
 Wendell Smallwood14.3% 
 Paul Turner10% 
 Ryan Mathews13 7.1% 
 Brent Celek14 6.7% 

And it wasn't just drops. Green-Beckham did not play like a 6'5, 237-pound player should, more often than not losing to far smaller corners in contested catch situations. He was also guilty of offensive pass interference several times in the screen game, never correcting the mistake of blocking downfield too early, and costing the Eagles huge plays as a result

Doug Pederson attributed Green-Beckham's bad season to being acquired by the team deep into training camp.

“I think that this will be a good offseason for DGB,” said Pederson at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. “This will be a great offseason for him. It's going to be an opportunity for him to come in and, number one, show what he's really capable of. Now, we got him sort of at the end of training camp last year. I believe it was Week 3 of training camp so he was learning our system really the whole year. Now, having time to work with him and really develop his talent, to get in there with Mike Groh and learn and with all our players. But at that position with him, it's going to be big with him. And just to see where he's at.”

While still far from a very good group, the Eagles' receivers were upgraded this offseason with the acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Taking a look at the Eagles' receiving corps, there are very clearly four receivers who have a better chance of being on the roster than Green-Beckham in 2017.

  1. Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver.
  2. Jordan Matthews: With the possibility of Matthews walking in free agency after the 2017 season, there is some logic to trading him if no contract extension is reached so the team can recoup some value for him now rather than lose him for nothing in a year. Still, obviously, Matthews is a much better player than Green-Beckham.
  3. Torrey Smith: It's not a zero percent chance that Smith gets cut before the season begins, but it is extremely unlikely. Smith has to rebound in a big way from a dreadful 2016 season with the 49ers, but it would be shocking if he could not make the team.
  4. Nelson Agholor: Like it not, Agholor isn't going anywhere unless the Eagles can find some other team that sees something in him, and is willing to make a bust-for-bust deal. However, Agholor's contract does not allow for the Eagles to cut him outright without significant penalties.
In a sense, Green-Beckham is something of a fifth wide receiver at the moment, and he'll slide even further down the "make the team" pecking order if the Eagles draft another receiver. It's very rare for No. 5 receivers to not play special teams, something Green-Beckham does not do. Pederson was asked how Green-Beckham fits in with the new additions and existing players at wide receiver.

"It's kind of like the offensive line," he said. "You acquire as much depth as you can because you never know when a guy goes down and you need somebody. And competition makes everybody better. I've said that from Day 1. I believe that with everything that I have. For him to come in here and show that will be big for him."

Green-Beckham must be significantly improved to make the roster in 2017. If not, it's hard to justify his roster spot, unless, as Pederson noted, some players go down.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

Like Jimmy on Facebook.