Don't expect the Philadelphia Eagles to make a splash at wide receiver via free agency or the trade market. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Eagles are more likely to seek young alternatives at the position for quarterback Carson Wentz:
"After making dozens of calls on the receiver market in the last week, the belief is the Eagles want a younger player who will mesh with Wentz rather than a veteran who might have his own style of play. They took a similar approach with the offensive staff, opting not to hire a play-caller from the outside. Philly is all-in on Wentz, obviously, so the pieces around him will be tailored accordingly."
The Eagles reportedly were in talks with the Houston Texans regarding superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins, but they backed out of those discussions. Houston ultimately sent Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.
The depth chart at wide receiver, as constructed, isn't promising. Veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery both dealt with injuries last season, with Jackson appearing in just three games. Jeffery's quality of play declined when he was on the field, and the team let Nelson Agholor—who struggled mightily last year—walk in free agency.
That leaves Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside as the team's other options. Ward has shown promise and could operate out of the slot for the team, while Arcega-Whiteside's rookie year was largely a disappointment despite occasional flashes.
Luckily, the 2020 NFL draft is loaded at the wide receiver position. B/R's Matt Miller has nine wideouts ranked among his top-50 players:
- 5. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
- 12. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
- 13. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
- 20. Tee Higgins, Clemson
- 21. Justin Jefferson, LSU
- 39. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
- 41. KJ Hamler, Penn State
- 47. Jalen Reagor, TCU
- 49. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan
Jeudy almost assuredly won't be on the board when the Eagles select at No. 21 overall, and Ruggs and Lamb may be gone as well. But with the Nos. 21 and 53 selections, the Eagles could land more than one player on this list. It's hard to imagine they won't target a wide receiver with at least one of those selections.
Rookie wideouts can be hit-or-miss in their first seasons while adjusting to the complexities of NFL passing games. So it's possible that drafting a player won't pay immediate dividends. But at this point, the Eagles seem to be putting all their eggs in the basket of the draft.