A Look at the Eagles Wide Receiver Battle
The competition in the wide receiver room seems to be heating up for the Eagles.
With only two preseason games left, nobody has stood out and definitively grabbed a job.
On one side of the depth chart, you have the draft picks: Jordan Matthews (second round), Ruben Randle, Dorial Green-Beckham (Second round), Josh Huff (third round) Chris Givens (fourth round) and Nelson Agholor (first round).
On the other, you have everybody else, a bunch of guys trying desperately to prove they belong: Paul Turner, Hunter Sharp, Cayleb Jones, Davis Watford and Marcus Johnson.
How many wide outs will the Eagles keep?
Last year in Kansas City, the Chiefs kept five on their roster, so maybe Eagles coach Doug Pederson follows his mentor Andy Reid.
Do any of the non-drafted guys have a shot?
Those guys are running out of weeks to make an impression, but one certainly has.
"Paul Turner has really kind of caught our eye here the last couple of weeks and is doing a nice job there," admitted Pederson."
If Turner was to make the team which receiver might be in trouble? Most likely, that would be Huff, both guys are slot-types and Huff has been inconsistent catching the football during his first two season, something Turner is proving he can do, catching nine-of-10 targets in two preseason games.
"He’s caught our attention," Pederson stated. "He’s definitely a slot receiver. Also, I want to see [WR Josh] Huff in there a little bit. If it comes up and we get the opportunity, I’d love to see him against quality competition – starters – and just see what he can do. He’s [Turner] made some plays the last couple of games. He made two really big catches the other night. Going forward, I just have to see, with the numbers, if we have the opportunity to put him in those situations."
Turner led the Eagles with three receptions for 44 yards, in the 17-0 win against Pittsburgh last Thursday, meanwhile with Matthews hurt it was Agholor, Givens and Huff who took first teams reps, with Randle and Green-Beckham playing second fiddle - but there is no question time is running out.
"The top guys, top performers aren’t getting many reps right now at that position," Pederson said. "So, it’s a little bit hard. I know once we get to the regular season and we trim the roster down to the 53 [-man roster] those guys will have a bigger impact, but right now it’s just a matter of just kind of getting a rep here or there."
The Eagles need to see more reliability from Randle and Huff both could be one of the veteran players in trouble, especially if the Eagles plan on keeping Green-Beckham, which it does.
"I think with someone like Green-Beckham coming in here: One, it’s a second chance for him to kind of prove himself," Pederson said. "We know the type of athlete that he is and he’s someone that could hopefully help us down the road."
If the Eagles end up keeping just five wide outs, it looks like Matthews, Agholor, Givens and Green-Beckham are the best bets to make it with Huff, Randle and Turner fighting for the final spot.
They certainly will keep a close eye on the waiver wire.
Two preseason games are left before the roster must be trimmed to 75 on Aug. 30, and five days later comes the final cut to 53.
Time is running out for somebody, can one of the long shots like Turner make an impression and force the team to give up on a high draft pick?
If there was one to make the team, Turner would be the one.