Eagles Scapegoating Starts with Mack Hollins
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The scapegoating has started in Philadelphia with the Eagles waiving unproductive wide receiver Mack Hollins days after a stunning loss in South Florida to a talent-deficient Miami Dolphins team.
Hollins, a fourth-round draft pick in the much-maligned 2017 class for the Eagles, has not caught a pass since Septemeber 26 at Green Bay despite playing significant snaps over the next five games. The Eagles then essentially benched Hollins and he had been playing sparingly during the team's current three-game losing streak after the self-scout of the bye week despite disingenuous comments from receivers coach Carson Walch before the post-bye schedule kicked off.
“He does not have the catches but at the end of the day when Mack Hollins grades out for us, he’s one of our top graders every week because he aligns right, he assigns right and he plays with great effort," Walch maintained. "We believe when the ball comes Mack’s way he’s going to make the play for us.”
On the season Hollins snared just 10 of 22 targets for 125 yards. Since catching one pass against the Pack Hollins participated in 204 offensive snaps and was targeted only five times, serving as a glorified blocker at a position where you need to be at least somewhat of a threat. He also was credited with two drops and was penalized five times this season.
In hindsight, the core muscle injury that cost Hollins the entire 2018 campaign was the death knell of his career with Philadelphia but as a fourth-round pick, the Eagles defaulted to him at the final cutdown despite the fact that Greg Ward clearly outplayed him in the offseason with Howie Roseman defaulting to special teams as an explanation.
Hollins arrive in Philadelphia with a big reputation as a special-teams player from his time at North Carolina although that never materialized either and he participated in just 57 ST snaps on the season with a high of 13 in Week 2 against Atlanta.
The Eagles elevated undrafted rookie Sua Opeta from the practice squad to replace Hollins on the active roster while they brought back defensive tackle Kevin Wilkins, a Rutgers product, to take Opeta's place on the PS.
The WR corps features Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Ward with Marcus Green and Rob Davis on the PS.
The Eagles also took another look at Marken Michel, who was with the team over the summer and outplayed Hollins as well throughout camp, as well as Darius Jennings on Monday.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen