Eagles Positional Battles: Wide Receiver

By Tom Long, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Philadelphia Eagles addressed one of their most visible weaknesses this offseason by drafting and signing new receivers. Now, as OTA's begin, the Eagles will determine where all these new pieces fit into the improved offense.

Newly-signed Alshon Jeffery is the undisputed No. 1 receiver heading into OTA's. His upside is limitless, however, Jeffery can only produce when he is actually in the field. Between injury and suspension, Jeffery has only played in 21 games in the last two seasons, a concerning statistic for the Eagles. The Eagles signed him to a one-year deal that did not break the bank, an overall good move for the team. Jeffery has the potential to be an elite caliber receiver, providing an added weapon for Carson Wentz.

Torrey Smith is expected to be the No. 2 receiver. Signed after he was released by the 49ers, Smith has a manageable three-year deal with the Eagles — the 2018 and 2019 seasons are club options. The Eagles are hoping he can recapture his fullest potential after two disappointing seasons in San Francisco. Smith also has a fairly secured spot on the team alongside Jeffery.

The battle now begins, featuring Jordan Matthews, rookies Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson and Nelson Agholor.

Matthews is expected to be extremely effective from the slot position, although there are doubts based on last year's production. If Matthews enters OTA's slow and inconsistent, Hollins and Gibson could potentially take some snaps away when the season comes around. Hollins and Gibson also possess strong special teams skills, an attribute that will surely provide some job security for the young players.

The remaining piece to the puzzle is Agholor. Agholor, the 20th overall pick in 2015, has proven to be an unreliable target for Wentz. He will have to impress head coach Doug Pederson in practice to prove he deserves snaps on this new and improved receiving squad. His role on the team is undoubtedly in question heading into training camp.

The Eagles receivers will all have an opportunity to prove themselves. Jeffery and Smith will have one season to make a convincing argument that they deserve more money and longer deals, while the rookies will attempt to prove their long-term worth. The receivers battle will be one of the more exciting positions to watch leading up to the season.

Go to top button