Through the first two weeks of the 2018 NFL regular season, the Eagles wide receiver unit is in a state of emergency. There is no other way to put it.
Once a strength of the Eagles, it has become a huge weakness, thanks to the injury bug.
No. 1 wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is still week-to-week as he coming back from torn rotator cuff surgery, second-year wide receiver Mack Hollins is on injured reserve and veteran Mike Wallace suffered a fractured fibula in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With all these injuries, the Eagles are only left Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson, and Kamar Aiken Sr. at wide receiver.
This is not good news for starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who will be making his season debut on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz will be going to battle with a wide receiver unit that closely resembles what he had as a rookie in 2016.
Therefore, the Eagles’ front office needs to be working the phones, either by signing a free-agent wide receiver or trading for one. They already missed out on Josh Gordon, who was acquired in a trade by the New England Patriots on Monday.
Gordon would’ve been a great option on the outside for Wentz, but since he is not available here are three other options for the Eagles.
1. Dez Bryant
The former Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver is now the best option for the Eagles. Bryant was released in the offseason by Dallas and looked like a shell of oneself in 2017.
Last season, he had 69 receptions (132 targets) for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Even though his stats looked good, they do not tell the entire story as Bryant had issues with route running and getting separation from opposing cornerbacks.
The 29-year-old Bryant reportedly turned down offers from both the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns earlier in the offseason. That being said, one has to wonder what type of opportunity the former first-round pick is waiting for.
Back in April, Bryant reportedly walked out of the Cowboys’ facilities and told them that he would see them twice a year, according to Mickey Spagnola of DallasCowboys.com.
If that was the case, this means the veteran wants to get back at Dallas and why not do it with the Eagles. The only thing that could stop this match from happening is money and if Bryant truly wants to play then he will take a reasonable offer.
2. J.J. Nelson
The speedy wide receiver out of UAB could be a solid option for the Eagles. Unlike Bryant, the Eagles would have to make a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for Nelson, but it would be worth it.
As of right now, the Eagles are without their deep threat in Wallace for the foreseeable future and could use a younger, cheaper option like Nelson. In four seasons with the Cardinals, he has racked up 74 receptions (163 targets) for 1,375 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Nelson’s breakout season came in 2016, serving as a tremendous compliment to John Brown. During that season, the 5-foot-10 wide receiver had 34 receptions (74 targets) for 568 yards and six touchdowns.
With those types of stats, you would think Nelson would play an integral part in Arizona’s offense this season.
He only played one snap in the season opener and seems to have fallen behind rookie Christian Kirk and second-year wide receiver Chad Williams on the depth chart.
If he were to come to the Eagles, Nelson would receive more snaps and have the opportunity to showcase his 4.28 40-yard speed.
3. Corey Coleman
Corey Coleman was reportedly supposed to work out for the Eagles last week, but ended up signing with the New England Patriots. However, Coleman’s stay in New England did not last for long as they released him to make room for his former teammate Josh Gordon.
It has been a wild last 30 days for Coleman, who was traded by the Browns in August to the Buffalo Bills for a 2020 seventh-round pick. But he could not even make their roster as the Bills released him on Sept.1.
Therefore, is it worth it for the Eagles to kick tires on the former first-round out of Baylor? He might be worth it only because they would not have to give up anything for him and maybe Philly could unlock whatever potential is still left there.
In his rookie season with the Browns, Coleman had 33 receptions (74 targets) for 413 yards and three touchdowns.