Projected Eagles WR Depth Chart in 2020
Not without controversy, the Eagles were able to come out of the 2020 NFL Draft with some much-needed speed and quickness. Howie Roseman and company made it clear that they were prioritizing speed in this draft and they proved to have substance behind their statements.
They were able to add Jalen Reagor, John Hightower & Quez Watkins through the draft while acquiring former olympian Marquise Goodwin via trade from the 49ers. With an abundance of receivers coming to town, one has to question what the final roster will look like after all these additions. If I was a betting man, I’d say the Eagles will more than likely keep 6 WRs on the roster. Assuming that Alshon Jeffery starts the season on the PUP list, here is my projection of what the depth chart will look like on opening day:
After signing a 3-year deal last summer cementing his return to Philadelphia, Jackson single-handedly provided the biggest tease of the season. His homecoming was short-lived after putting on a show with Carson Wentz in Week 1. When targeting DeSean Jackson last season, Wentz was 9/11 passing for 159 yards and 2 TDs. Wentz was finally able to put his arm strength on display before Jackson went down to injury in Week 2, inevitably leading to core muscle surgery.
When healthy, Jackson is still one of the most dangerous deep threats in the game. He has the most 60+ yard touchdowns in NFL history with 24, one more than Jerry Rice. Expect DeSean Jackson to return from injury more determined than ever in a rejuvenated offense.
Again. Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson for the second time today. First one was a 51 yarder, this one is a 53-yard TD. pic.twitter.com/W9mBkCQYOr
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 8, 2019
The Eagles drafted a burner out of TCU in Jalen Reagor with #21 overall pick. It’s been widely debated whether or not they should’ve got ahead of Dallas for CeeDee Lamb or taken Justin Jefferson instead. At the end of the day, the Eagles got the perfect playmaker for their offense.
Reagor is nothing short of explosive with the ball in his hands and plays much bigger than his size. His drops are a bit worrisome but considering 40% of the throws that came his way were uncatchable, we can chalk a good portion of those up to poor QB play. Whether he can be a true WR1 remains to be seen, but Reagor is a big-play threat each time he touches the ball.
Reagor certainly has game-changing speed. Carson will finally be able to use that arm strength. pic.twitter.com/WmUiQAygGi
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 24, 2020
The Eagles bolstered their Day 3 draft haul by swapping picks 6th-round picks with the 49ers in exchange for Marquise Goodwin. After the trade, the Eagles and Goodwin agreed to a restructured 1-year, $1.35M deal. Goodwin has had his own myriad of injuries, only playing 16 games once in his career. Other than that season, the most yards Goodwin has recorded in a season was 431.
Luckily, the Eagles won’t be relying on him as their primary option. If he can stay on the field, Goodwin is among the fastest in the league. He’ll complement the WR group nicely while opposing secondaries are chasing around Jackson & Reagor all day. This acquisition is the textbook definition of low-risk, high-reward.
Patrick Peterson wanted no smoke after Goodwin caught this ball. pic.twitter.com/tf5nxsvHxB
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 27, 2020
After addressing the defense and …. the QB position (it isn’t all bad) the Eagles drafted another deep-threat WR in John Hightower out of Boise St. I see a lot of Robby Anderson when I watch Hightower, he possesses 4.4 speed, good hands, and intriguing length.
He struggled a bit against press coverage and needs to polish his route-running but he has the raw talent to develop into a productive wideout. The Eagles will be adopting a spread offense and that is the exact scheme Hightower can excel in.
MOVE DOWN THE DEPTH CHART JJAW THERE’S A NEW KID IN TOWN. pic.twitter.com/H0u14ns2YR
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) April 25, 2020
There isn’t a ton of confidence to speak about when it comes to JJAW. The 2019 second-round pick underwhelmed in his rookie year, catching a lowly 10 passes for 169 yards in 16 games. Things seemed to go downhill after the crucial drop in the Detriot game. I’m not in the business of writing off players after one year so I’m willing to say he’ll bounce back in 2020, especially now that Mike Groh and Carson Walch are gone.
The Eagles didn’t draft any possession WRs in this draft, so it seems they have all their eggs in JJAW’s basket in regards to a guy that can grab 50/50 balls. In fairness, Carson Wentz didn’t look his way too often later in the season. Expect Arcega-Whiteside to be active on Sundays for the foreseeable future.
Probably in the minority here, but I feel good about JJAW next season.
Should be able to flourish with the new offensive minds that were brought in. I doubt Groh was of any help to his development. pic.twitter.com/vDNCeiHwfY
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) March 22, 2020
Unless the Eagles decide to keep 7 receivers, the last spot will come down to Ward and the speedy WR the Eagles took in the 6th round, Quez Watkins. I’ll give Greg Ward the nod here based on his late-season production alone. He stepped up when his number was called, catching 21 passes for 209 yards and a game-winning touchdown through the last 4 weeks of the season. Ward was Carson’s most trusted WR down the stretch, and that’s saying a lot for a guy who was playing in the AAF just one year prior. I can see the Eagles giving him some work out of the slot sparingly but I wouldn’t expect much more than that barring critical injuries.
Quez Watkins would be on the practice squad in this scenario but I’m not sure he’d make it past waivers. Some team is bound to take a shot on his 4.35 speed so the Eagles may be encouraged to keep 7 WRs, especially with the new CBA in place. Unfortunately, whoever the fringe receiever is at the time will probably get bumped when Alshon returns.
Our best (and most clutch) receiver was on the practice squad all year.
First career touchdown for Greg Ward is a game winning one. pic.twitter.com/v7Jt8gf5LL
— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) December 15, 2019
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