Eagles Thin WR Corps Hinges on Jordan Matthews
The Eagles drafted wide receives in the top three rounds during the three-year Chip Kelly era.
So why were the Eagles interested in veteran wide out Anquan Boldin?
"There was a little interest there," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson admitted on Wednesday. "We're continuing to always see about upgrading every position, and he was on the list, obviously."
While Boldin signed with the Lions, the Eagles still find themselves thin at the position, and now have shown their hand - they need help at wide out.
Former second round pick Jordan Matthews had a promising rookie season, and then had a case of the drops in 2015, but has 16 touchdowns in just two seasons. First-round pick Nelson Agholor sprained his ankle and caught just 23 balls, rendering his rookie season a wash. Josh Huff, a third-round pick in 2014 has just 35 catches and seemingly just as many drops in his two seasons.
Which brings us to this training camp, and how dramatically things have changed - the team brought in Ruben Randle, Chris Givens and T.J. Graham to compete for time with the three incumbents.
But that doesn't mean the team is running around talking about how deep they are at wide receiver.
Including the head coach.
"We're monitoring every roster, every free agent that's out there," the coach said when discussing the teams interest in Boldin. "If we can help our team somehow, some way, we'll do it, but right now there's nothing, nothing in the works."
You could argue they really only know about one.
By all accounts, Matthews has cut down on the drops this spring, after being charged with nine drops on 94 catchable balls last season.
But that’s where the positive vibes come to an end.
So what about Huff and Agholor?
The Eagles know both have plenty of talent, but inconsistency has been a major issue. Drops and poor route running skills don’t have fans thinking they will have long, productive NFL careers.
Anquan Boldin was by no means a burner, but the soon-to-be 36-year old had 69 catches last season and is one of the best route-runners in the league and so always seemed to find a way to get open, while he isnt the type of guy this teams needs right now - they need one of their current guys to play like Boldin.
This is what the Eagles need from Matthews - to become a solid route-running guy with sure hands, a guy that can be trusted to make that big thrid down catch or come down with that tough catch in the back of the end-zone.
While the Eagles may have passed on signing Boldin, they are probably hoping they have their own version on their current roster.