In the first two parts of our Philadelphia Eagles training camp preview, we looked at the quarterback and running back position groups. Therefore, in part three of this series, we will evaluate the wide receiver unit, which has become a strength for the Eagles.
1. Alshon Jeffery – Last year in NFL free agency, the Eagles made it a priority to get themselves a number one wide receiver for their young quarterback Carson Wentz. They did that with Alshon Jeffery.
Even though he had an opportunity to sign a larger deal on the market, the former Chicago Bears standout opted to sign a one-year deal with Philadelphia.
The decision to sign with the Eagles paid off for both parties as Wentz and Nick Foles had a reliable outside target to the throw the ball too, while Jeffery ended up receiving a four-year extension towards the end of the season.
Last season, Jeffery had 57 receptions on 120 targets for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. It was a bounce-back year for Jeffery, who had a total six touchdowns in the previous two seasons with Chicago.
Jeffery continued his stellar play in the playoffs, coming up huge in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl 52. In both of those games combined, the 6-foot-3 wideout had eight receptions for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
Not to mention, he did all of this while playing with a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. Do not expect Jeffery to play at all in the preseason, but do expect him to be ready for the regular season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
2. Mike Wallace – After trading Torrey Smith earlier in the offseason to the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles needed another speedy wide receiver. This is where Mike Wallace came into play.
Philadelphia signed the veteran to a one-year deal to play on the opposite side of Alshon Jeffery. Over the last 5-7 years, the Eagles love having fast wide receivers, who are threats to go deep at any moment in the game. Wallace fits that exact mold of what the Eagles are looking for.
Last season with the Baltimore Ravens, Wallace had a solid year with 52 receptions on 92 targets for 748 yards and four touchdowns. However, the Eagles are hoping that Wallace can turn back the clock to 2016, where he had over 1,000 receiving yards.
If the Eagles could somehow get that out of the 31-year-old wide receiver this season that would be a huge plus for the offense.
3. Nelson Agholor – There was a lot of pressure on Nelson Agholor coming into last season. The former first-round pick had a disappointing 2016 campaign and desperately needed a great season.
To everybody’s surprise, he did have a great season and did it while playing as the slot wide receiver in the Eagles’ offense. Agholor flourished in his new role and had a career-high 62 receptions on 92 targets for 768 yards and eight touchdowns.
Think about this, Agholor had a better than season than both Dez Bryant and Amari Cooper, which is downright impressive. If he can have another good season in the slot, expect a contract extension coming Agholor’s way in the near future.
4. Mack Hollins – One of the Eagles’ two fourth-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mack Hollins was not expected to have a big role in the offense as a rookie. However, Hollins had his moments where he flashed on the screen with his speed and run after the catch ability.
The former UNC Tar Heel had a modest 16 receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown, but could wind up having a bigger role this upcoming season.
Others wide receivers to watch out for: Markus Wheaton, Shelton Gibson, Bryce Treggs