WIDE RECEIVER IS STILL A BIG EAGLES QUESTION MARK

By Sam Bush

Let’s clear away all the euphoria about Eagles wunderkind QB Carson Wentz.

By shipping a boatload of draft picks to Cleveland for the rights to draft Wentz, the Birds weren’t able to shore up their weak spots:

Namely, at wide receiver!

Since the dismissals of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles have become collectively slow at wide receiver.

As MMQB noted:

Jordan Matthews (above) and Nelson Agholor are both methodical movers who must rely on body positioning. A lack of speed and quickness is not a crippling handicap in new head coach Doug Pederson’s West Coast style scheme, which relies more on shrewd route combinations and play design.

But even in that system, the X-iso receiver (the receiver aligned alone on the weak side) often has the “man-beater” route, making him the primary read if the QB gets to the line of scrimmage and identifies man coverage. The less dynamic a runner you are, the harder it is to beat man coverage. Plus, the less likely you are to draw a safety over the top, which makes life harder for receivers on the other side.

Philly did add a burner this offseason in Chris Givens, but for various reasons he hasn’t carved out a niche at previous stops. Same with T.J. Graham. It’s likely that Rueben Randle will share the No. 3 duties with Josh Huff. Randle, with his history of knee trouble, is about as methodical as they come. Huff can dart around but only when aligned inside and aided by the play design.

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