Where Do The Eagles Receivers Rank Heading Into 2020 NFL Season?
Heading into the 2020 NFL season, the Wide Receiver position is one of the biggest questions for the Philadelphia Eagles. Last season, the Eagles suffered season ending injuries for their top two Wide Receivers, without Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery the 2019 Eagles leaders in Receptions and Receiving Yards were Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Miles Sanders. Since Doug Pederson became the Head Coach before the 2016 season, the Eagles have two seasons with some of the worst Wide Receiver play in the NFL (2016, 2019) but the season Philadelphia got their most production from the Wide Receiver position was 2017 when the Birds won the Super Bowl.
Pro Football Focus released their rankings of the Best Wide Receiver Units heading into the 2020 season, and some people may be surprised at where the Philadelphia Eagles rank on their list. PFF ranked the Eagles as the 12th Best Receiver Unit heading into this upcoming season:
The Eagles had a clear offseason goal of getting faster, and that should immediately be evident, starting with the addition of Marquise Goodwin from the 49ers and first-rounder Jalen Reagor.
Goodwin has averaged 16.6 yards per reception in his seven-year career, though his best work came in 2017 with a 77.0 grade and 962 yards. He’s played just 706 snaps over the last two years. Reagor ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, but he plays even faster as he gets to top speed in a hurry. He should add a much-needed vertical component to the Philadelphia offense.
Interesting that PFF focused on Goodwin and Reagor, the two top acquisitions from the three days of the 2020 NFL Draft. Goodwin is not a lock to make the 2020 Eagles roster since he has a 4.28 Million Cap Hit that the Eagles can cut him with zero Dead Money effecting them. Meanwhile, the expectation is Reagor will have a major role in the Eagles Offense this upcoming season.
PFF also highlighted Desean Jackson in their analysis of the Eagles Receiver Unit heading into the 2020 season:
Don’t forget about DeSean Jackson, who caught nine passes for 159 yards and two scores in Week 1 before playing just 14 snaps the rest of the way. If he’s still with the team at the start of the season, Jackson has plenty to offer as a deep threat, even as he starts the 13th year of his career.
PFF also gave an interesting perspective on an Eagles Wide Receiver some people wonder what his role will be in 2020:
Alshon Jeffery also returns after playing only 10 games last season when he had the highest receiving grade among Philly receivers at 75.0. He’s one of the league’s best at the catch point, and he adds a nice contrast to the influx of speed everywhere else.
Jeffery is coming off an injury that could keep him out of action for at least the first eight games of the 2020 season so there is no certainty he will help the Eagles Offense this season. PFF did compare Jeffery's skill set to another Eagles receiver:
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is similar that regard, as he was a contested-catch monster in college, though he got off to a slow start with just a 53.3 receiving grade and 169 yards as a rookie.
Arcega-Whiteside led the PAC-12 in Receiving Touchdowns in 2018 with 14 and accumulated a total of 28 Touchdowns in three seasons at Stanford so he has a history of being a very productive Receiver before the NFL. PFF finished their review of the Eagles Receivers Unit talking about three more players:
Rounding out the depth chart is Greg Ward, who stepped in and did a fine job with a 71.3 receiving grade last season, and even more speedsters in fifth-round pick John Hightower (4.43 40) and sixth-round pick Quez Watkins (4.36). The Eagles have a plethora of options heading into the season and there’s a good mix of speed and size.
Ward, who became the Eagles primary Slot Receiver the last few weeks of the 2019 season, is expected to have a more consistent role in the Eagles Offense this upcoming season. PFF hits the nail on the head when saying that the Birds have a plethora of options heading into the 2020 season and that is a major benefit for an offense that was 12th in Points Per Game in 2019.