More Sports:

August 08, 2023

What they're saying: Eagles have the best receiving corps in the NFL

The A.J.Brown-DeVonta-Smith-Dallas Goedert trio make the best receiving corps in the NFL, the Eagles have the league's deepest roster and more of what they're saying about the Birds.

The Eagles are back at practice on Tuesday morning, kicking off their first back-to-back-to-back practice sessions of training camp. Before we get to Jalen Hurts' NovaCare Complex passing stats and Jimmy Kempski's expert daily notes, let's take a peek at what the national media is saying about the Birds...

Top Billing

Sharp Football Analysis | Warren Sharp

NFL analyst Warren Sharp, who's previously done consulting work with the Eagles, released a ranking of the top receiving corps in the league, including both wideouts and tight ends. With voting from the Sharp Football Analysis team, the Eagles came in at No. 1. Sharp writes:

Philly’s pass-catchers were a unanimous No. 1 selection. If this unit fails to live up to lofty expectations, it will likely be due to injuries and a lack of depth. A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert accounted for 69% of the team’s targets and 80% of their intended air yards in 2022. [Sharp Football]

No argument from me!

If we're evaluating things for just wide receivers, I can see cases for both Cincinnati with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins and then Miami with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. When including tight ends, however, Dallas Goedert lifts the Eagles' unit to No. 1 easily.

Unsurprisingly, I'd say the Eagles' best three players in training camp have been A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Goedert in that order. 

Like Mike

NBC Sports | Peter King

Peter King has been around Eagles training camp this summer and on Tuesday, wrote about the team in his "Football Morning in America" column. He certainly has high praise for the Birds, saying they have the deepest roster in the entire NFL. Here's an excerpt from King's story:

I left Philadelphia after camp thinking Howie Roseman has constructed the deepest team in football. Ironic, really, that the most important depth piece he drafted tore this team apart. I’m exaggerating there, because Jalen Hurts didn’t tear the team apart—the immaturity of the oft-injured Carson Wentz did. Wentz handled the drafting of Hurts in the second round three years ago childishly when it was an excellent team-first move.

And today, on Hurts’ 25th birthday, one thing is clear: The quarterback who took the Eagles within a whisper of winning the Super Bowl six months ago is a long-term keeper with the kind of fire coaches pray they’ll get to coach at least once in their lives.

“What’d you try to improve this offseason in your game?” I asked Hurts the other day.

“I think just the overall development. Every time you go into an offseason, for me at least, I look at guys like MJ (Michael Jordan) and Kobe [Bryant] and how they diagnose their game. Obviously two different sports, but trying to get better at my strengths and then turning my weaknesses into my strengths. I’ve always been a unique player. But embracing the rarity of being a true triple-threat … Throwing, running, and mind. For a long time people said guys like me couldn’t think or couldn’t process.

“Trying to put that to sleep.” [NBC Sports]

High praise. I actually think the Eagles are thinner this year than they were in 2022, particularly along the offensive line where they sported a second unit that could've started on some lower-level teams. Still, that was before Jalen Hurts really became Jalen Hurts in the eyes of the football world, so I get what King is going for. Attempting to emulate the work ethic of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant is a lofty goal, but that's how every franchise quarterback should want to handle themselves. Hurts says all the right things and has been on the upward developmental trend since his freshman year in Tuscaloosa. 

Believe the hype when it comes to Hurts' intangibles. 

The Hall Calls

Pro Football Focus

PFF dropped a new Instagram post showcasing their highest rated undrafted player at every offensive position. The No. 1 LT? Former Eagles All-Pro Jason Peters with a grade of 92.5. 

Given the Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities over the weekend, it got me thinking about Peters' candidacy. Though Peters is a free agent and unsigned, he's technically still an active player after playing 10 games for Dallas in 2022. The Hall of Fame has a retirement five-year window before players are eligible to be selected. That would mean Peters, at the earliest, could be enshrined in Canton in 2028.

He has to get in, right? I hate the whole "first ballot" debate. Either someone's good enough to be in or they're not. Why the hell are we instituting some unnecessary purgatorial wait? Getting elected to the 2010s All-NFL team should be huge for his case. Peters is right there with new electee Joe Thomas as the best two offensive tackles of their generation. 

The Road to Vegas Goes Through Philly

Bleacher Report

Over at Bleacher Report's B/R Gridiron Instagram account, they dropped their 2023 NFL standings prediction. They have the Eagles finishing at 13-4, the best record in the NFC.

B/R has three NFC East teams making the postseason with 10-7 predictions for both the Giants and Cowboys that would have them slotting into NFC Wild Card slots. With a first-place schedule, grabbing the No. 1 seed again in the NFC is going to be a daunting task, but this conference is garbage. Dallas is probably their best challenger and they're so top heavy and have their own questions. What's going with the Cowboys reworking Dak Prescott's footwork? That's not common for a 30-year-old QB! The national media loves to gas up the 49ers, but they don't even know who their Week 1 starter at quarterback is less than a month before the season kicks off. That's bad! Why are we pretending that's normal? 

If the Birds get the bye and home-field advantage, they're cruising back to the Super Bowl. 

Follow Shamus & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @shamus_clancy | @thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Shamus' RSS feed to your feed reader