Why the Eagles should pass on drafting a wide receiver in early rounds

Eagles Giants Football
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (81) is congratulated by quarterback Sam Bradford (7) after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

It may not be as explosive as last offseason, but once again the Eagles have seen their Franchise reshaped. With the draft drawing nearer and the speculation of who the Eagles are going to take in the first round growing, it’s almost safe to assume they won’t be drafting one position..and that’s a Wide Receiver.

It’s easy to say that the Eagles need a deep threat or could still benefit from a Veteran presence, and that’s still true..but it’s not the direction they intend to go. If you look at the receivers on the roster, the Eagles already have a very clear shape..a shape of competition.

Last season, four receivers had over 500 total offensive snaps.

Jordan Matthews- 920
Riley Cooper- 757
Nelson Agholor- 671
Josh Huff- 636

With Cooper gone and Matthews presumably moving out of the slot, there’s a lot of room for the fringe receivers to prove themselves worthy of more snaps, especially in a new system under a new Head Coach. But just how much competition is there going to be? It’s only when you see the names listed that you realize the Eagles already have an abundance of potential. In fact, the potential is so evenly spread that it becomes difficult to predict just who will make up the Eagles receiving core this season with the exception of Matthews.

Jordan Matthews – Number one receiver.
Reuben Randle – Explosive, lacks work ethic, consistently on the edge of breaking out
Nelson Agholor– Mixed rookie season, showed flashes of huge potential
Josh Huff– Plenty of question marks over Huff’s head, he needs a big season
Chris Givens– New kid on the block and a deep threat..could become situational ace
Seantavius Jones– Never had the opportunity to shine but has all the right fundamentals
Jonathan Krause– Huge praise from Bill Belechick, impressed in his minimal snaps
Freddie Martino– Most likely a special teams contributor but has a lot of potential
Xavier Rush– The wildcard of the Eagles receivers, Deep threat for Tulane in 2014

If the Eagles DID draft a receiver with their first round pick or even third round pick, where would he realistically fit? With Huff and Agholor two players who haven’t lived up to the hype surrounding them pre-draft, the Eagles can’t afford to miss at number 8.

There is a number of question marks looming over the Eagles receivers..both as players and as an overall unit. With the exception of Matthews, there’s no role cemented and everything is up for grabs (literally). There’s going to be vicious competition during OTA’s and Training Camp, so why would you add fuel what could be an already explosive fire?

The overwhelming response to this article up until now will likely be “but the majority of receivers on the roster are not:

That’s true. The group doesn’t possess a Roddy White and Julio tandem but if you can create a team that is multi-dimensional, you don’t need to have such dominant passing threats to be successful.

Of the five leading receivers on the Kansas City Chiefs last season, two of them were wide receivers. Travis Kelce, Chacandrick West and Jamaal Charles were the other three..a Tight-End and two running backs.

From what we know about how Pederson likes to run his Offense (view the article where we break down his playcalling in the Chiefs Loss to New England here), we know that he loves to spread the ball around. Tight-Ends, receivers and running backs see a much more balanced distribution of the ball compared to what we’re expecting and it could mean that whilst the Eagles don’t have a huge threat…they have an arsenal of alarming ones.

Versatility is a huge factor in Pederson’s prototype as it was in Chip Kelly’s. The difference here is that the receivers will be allowed to express themselves in ways we haven’t seen before. Chip’s Offense was black and white. Players were pieces who did as instructed. Pederson’s Offense brings color, imagination and most importantly, freedom. Because of that there’s no reason why the likes of Josh Huff and Nelson Agholor can’t live up to the expectations originally placed upon their shoulders by the fans of Philadelphia.

With competition levels at an all time high, plenty of roster spots up for grabs and a playbook that leans towards creative freedom as opposed to a game of attribute Top Trumps, the Eagles receiving core that was predicted to be one of the most explosive in its conference last year, may..just may be able to live up to those expectations 12 months later without the need for drafting a receiver in the early rounds.