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Old 06-16-2017, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default T Lawler on the wide receivers

So Much Better

Posted: June 16th, 2017 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles receiving corps has to be the most improved unit in the league. This group looked good on paper and played that way in the OTAs and minicamp.

Alshon Jeffery played like a #1 receiver. He caught just about everything that came his way. He made contested catches. He made spectacular catches. He even hauled in a deep ball or two. The Eagles gave Jeffery a lot of money and right now that looks like money well-spent. Carson Wentz has a top shelf weapon to go to in the passing game. That could be huge for Wentzís development.

Torrey Smith hasnít done anything spectacular, but heís shown the speed the Eagles lacked last year. Beyond that, Smith is a skilled vertical receiver. He and Wentz are working on the subtleties of how to complete those deep balls. Smith is teaching Wentz what he considers open to be and where to put the ball so he can go make a play on it.

Jordan Matthews, the Eagles best receiver the last couple of years, was hurt and didnít play. Doug Pederson said he could go if this was the regular season so it sounds like the team is just being careful. Unless his leg falls off, Iím willing to count on Matthews to play well.

Nelson Agholor has embraced the challenge of this offseason. He could have pouted about losing his starting job, but did just the opposite. He has responded really well to the coaching of Mike Groh and is playing the best football of his young career. Admittedly, that bar is set low, but it is still better than seeing him struggle again. Agholor hasnít been great. Letís not overdo this. Simply put, heís making plays, not mistakes. The best thing is that Agholor has played a lot in the slot with Matthews out. He now is showing he can contribute in the slot or outside. Thatís important for a player who wonít be the primary receiver. He needs to be able to fit into whatever spot is open for that series or that game.

The Mack Hollins hype train seems to have settled down quite a bit. I donít know if he did anything or people just got used to seeing him play well. Hollns has shown that he is more than a STer who has some pass-catching talent. He is a talented WR. Weíll see how he does in Training Camp, but he looks like a player that can contribute as a rookie, on offense and STs.

Bryce Treggs played well in the minicamp. I donít know if the light suddenly went on for him or what, but he started making plays. Treggs has to stand out in order to win a roster spot. He needs to play like he did this week throughout the month of August.

Marcus Johnson has gotten some positive notes. UDFA Greg Ward has had some good moments. He could develop into a slot receiver. Donnel Pumphrey has worked as a slot receiver quite a bit. He isnít officially a WR, but could be a contributor in the slot role this season. Heís got the potential to be a playmaker.

There are two clear disappointments. DGB and Shelton Gibson have struggled. Unlike Agholor, DGB doesnít seem to be embracing the increased level of competition. He might be more focused on the idea that heís going to be out of a job. Last year he made the Eagles roster because of potential. Thatís not good enough this year. He has to produce. He can turn things around in Training Camp, but I wouldnít count on it. Gibson just seems like the overwhelmed rookie. Mental confusion has led to physical problems, mainly dropped passes. He needs to play better in August to have any shot at a roster spot, or more likely, to secure a spot on the practice squad.

I donít think anyone will mistake this group for the í99 Rams anytime soon. Thatís fine. Just make sure no one mistakes them for the 2016 Eagles.
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