Eagles Finally Go Offense in 4th Round with WR Mack Hollins
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - After spending the first two days of the draft bolstering the defense the Eagles finally got down to the business of helping Carson Wentz by selecting 6-foot-4, 220-pound North Carolina receiver Mack Hollins with the 118th overall selection.
The Barack Obama lookalike is a size and speed prospect who is also an excellent special-teams player. From the receiving standpoint, Hollins is a field stretcher who is a raw route runner at this stage and never produced more than 35 catches with the Tar Heels.
“I don’t think there is anybody who is a better deep threat than me in adjusting to deep balls and catching deep passes," Hollins said during his introductory conference call. "Also, with my speed, I think people underestimate my ability to run routes. Obviously, I can get better, but I think I am a better route runner than people think. With my speed, I can get defensive backs out of their pedal and turning their heads quicker."
Hollins already has built up a bit of chemistry with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as the two share the same agents and have worked out together in the past.
"I think I threw with (Wentz) twice -- once or twice," Hollins said. "He is the type of quarterback where it’s almost like you don’t even have to catch the ball, he puts it where it needs to be. Immediately, you can kind of feel that connection with him."
Hollins' senior season at UNC was limited to seven games due to a fractured clavicle and he managed just 16 catches but averaged 19.3 yards per reception.
"The clavicle is fully healed and ready to go," Hollins claimed. "I actually worked out this morning. I walked into my house at 12:05 after my workout, so I missed the first two picks. I was grinding, because it doesn’t stop.”
The speculation is that like Hollins will start his NFL career behind Torrey Smith as the designated speed threat opposite Alshon Jeffery. His special teams acumen as a potential coverage player also squarely puts veteran receiver Dorial Green-Beckham on the bubble.
“Special teams is really the way I got on the field," Hollins said. "I walked on [at the University of North Carolina] and redshirted my first year. Special teams was how I got my opportunity to travel with the team. ...I will never forget that special teams is how I played and how I got my opportunity. I started on all four [special team units] my entire career, but I love special teams."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen