As the Eagles' 2016 training camp draws near, Dave Zangaro takes a look at five position battles that will be decided this summer. We've already looked at kicker, cornerback and left guard. Today is wide receiver.
Jordan Matthews caught a case of the dropsies last year, but it probably had a lot to do with an injured hand. Still, he managed to haul in 85 passes for 997 yards and eight touchdowns. Through two seasons, Matthews has 152 catches for 1,869 yards and 16 touchdowns. He's one of just five players in NFL history to put up those numbers in the first two seasons of their careers, joining Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, Marques Colston and Larry Fitzgerald.
So Matthews is going to be on the field, whether he's in the slot or outside, as he's clearly the best receiver on the roster.
After Matthews? Well, things get a little hazy.
I think these four players are on the roster for now: Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff, Rueben Randle and Chris Givens. If the team elects to take six wideouts, T.J. Graham is likely the next on the list. But it's unclear how all of the receivers will fit into the rotation.
Agholor and Huff are pretty talented guys, but haven't lived up to their potential. Huff is entering his third season and has shown glimpses. He's been good with the ball in his hands; now it's up to head coach Doug Pederson to find a way to get it there. And Agholor had a disappointing rookie year. High ankle sprain or not, 23 catches in 13 games isn't getting it done, especially for a starter. The Eagles desperately need more out of him in 2016.
Then there's Randle and Givens, two veteran free-agent signings. Both came to the Eagles on cheap one-year deals. There's a reason they were both so inexpensive, but there's something to be said for low-risk, high-reward moves. Both of these fall into that category.
No, the Eagles’ receivers aren't great. But they're a heckuva lot better than they were last year, when Miles Austin and Riley Cooper were squatting on a starting job.
Coming up Friday: Fullback