It’s been a frantic offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles and one that has seen the receiving corps turned upside down. The birds now have 12 receivers on the roster as attention turns to preparations for the 2016 season and 8 of those receivers have signed at some point during the offseason.. leaving just four receivers on the roster who have played snaps as an Eagle.
One of the more overlooked wideouts is 24 year old Jonathan Krause. A former Vanderbilt teammate of Jordan Matthews who was called up from the Eagles practice squad in late November, Krause has spent time with the Browns and the Patriots before being waived and signing with the birds in September.
“Jonathan has both inside and outside flexibility, can play in the slot, can play on the perimeter, runs well, smart kid, works hard, good hands, very dependable player.”
“I think he’s a good young player with a good future. It was a good move by Philadelphia to get him in their system. He’s got a lot of good qualities.”
So the question is, will he be on the team’s final 53-man roster come the end of pre-season and what kind of receiver is he?
Krause caught two of his four targets in the dying moments of the 2015 season for a total of 11 yards. That stat alone doesn’t seem too impressive, but if we look at the passes themselves they paint a slightly different picture.
His first target as an Eagle came against his former team. Krause is able to gain separation on his route and create enough room for a pass to fit perfectly between him and the sideline. Sam Bradford does a poor job here and overthrows his target.
His first reception came minutes later. Krause is able to sprint across the flat and make a catch. The only player to pick up on his under the radar route was Malcolm Butler who brought him down moments after.
His next appearance would come against the Redskins in which he was also targeted twice by Sam Bradford. His lone catch of the game was on an identical route to his catch against the Patriots. Taking advantage of space over the middle but covered well by the Redskins secondary, limiting Krause to a short gain.
His second target was a curl route that once again demonstrated his ability to find space, but this time it was Bradford’s scrambling that drew attention and forced another wayward pass.
In his limited action with the Eagles, there isn’t too much to get excited about. But he did put in a string of impressive performances during preseason for the Patriots, racking up 89 yards on 11 catches.
This catch against the Packers was about as complex as it got in terms of route running however. Krause appears to be a receiver who has only been used on short routes or passes over the middle during his short time in the NFL. In fact, there were only a few passes that were over five yards.
This was perhaps his most impressive play of the preseason. A cut inside and a catch made in traffic may sound basic, but to be swallowed up in a Panthers sandwich and come down with the football is a trait that the Eagles could seriously benefit from.
It’s evident that Krause has the ability. In his senior season at Vanderbilt he was the perfect compliment to Matthews, receiving for a career high 714 yards and 3 touchdowns on 42 passes.
Having learned under the likes of Danny Amendola, Krause simply put is a possession receiver who hasn’t had his big break yet. He is yet to enjoy a full NFL preseason to prepare and his experience during regular season games is limited.
This will be a big offseason for Krause who will be in a situation where every receiver around him is competing for the same roster spot. Could he benefit from some more snaps and varied routes? Absolutely. But only time will tell if Doug Pederson regards his good hands as good enough to make the 53-man roster.
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