Do the Eagles need to find a replacement for Mack Hollins?

Releasing Mack Hollins might end up being the Eagles’ most applauded decision of 2019. The former fourth-round pick was worryingly unproductive this season, in a year where the Eagles desperately needed to step up in wake of an injury crisis. But with a quarter of the season remaining, the Eagles only have four wide receivers. If they are truly going to mount a playoff push after last week’s dismal loss, is that really enough?

Probably not.

Greg Ward Jr. sits behind Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The issue here is that Ward is a prominent slot receiver, and Arcega-Whiteside is nearly an identical clone of Alshon Jeffery. That isn’t exactly going to open up your offense.

If we partner that with the fact that the Eagles run a lot of 12-personnel, but have been the worst team out of that formation in the entire NFL), it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Against the Dolphins, Carson Wentz struggled to find open receivers due to the fact that they struggled to find separation and weren’t schemed into a position they could take advantage of.

The Eagles do have some names available who could help.

Practice squad

Robert Davis

The 6’3, 210 lbs, receiver was selected in the sixth-round by the Redskins back in 2017 and has one reception for 11-yards in 4 appearances. In 2018, he suffered a torn ACL and a broken leg that would rip the entire season away from him.

It would be the Eagles who eventually came knocking, poaching him from Washington’s grasp one year later. Davis ended his career at Georgia State with 222 receptions and 3,391 receiving yards, which were both school records for a relatively new program.

Davis is built in a similar vein to Hollins, but runs a 4.44 40-yard dash and has a 41-inch vertical. Having spent the season on the practice squad, he could be an under-the-radar addition that could potentially provide a positive spark due to his size, strength, and speed.

Marcus Green

At 5’8, 191 lbs, Green is the last deep-threat the Eagles have available to them at this time. The rookie originally caught on with the Falcons after going undrafted but was quickly snapped up by the Eagles.

If a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash time doesn’t sound appealing, then the fact he led the University of Louisiana Monroe in receiving (50 catches, 855 yards, 8 TD’s) while also putting up 193 yards as a rusher, and a further 385 as a returner, should at least give Doug Pederson the idea to implement a gadget player who can help the team and stretch the field in a pinch.

The familiar face

Marken Michel

The former CFL standout is still a free agent and should be a familiar name to Eagles fans everywhere after his 75-yard touchdown in the team’s preseason opener.

The speedy receiver racked up 435 yards on 31 receptions, 36 yards on two carries and added six total touchdowns in 11 games last year for Calgary, making most of his money out in space…which, as we know, is where the Eagles also like to make a living.

394 of his 1,215 receiving yards (or 32.4%) in the CFL came after the catch. He also managed 11.8 yards per carry in his young career. Making big-time plays is something that has become second nature to the former Minuteman and at this point, the Eagles could really benefit from his dynamic skill set.

Fans would almost certainly be happy to see Michel back in the running after such a strong preseason, and it gives him an opportunity to make a case for a long-term roster spot in games that may quickly become devoid of meaning. Michel was also among six players who worked out for the Eagles at the start of the week.

There are of course a plethora of other names. Veterans like Mike Wallace may want to kick the engine into life one more time, while names like Darius Jennings (a 27-year old who has bounced around since entering the league in 2015) may provide a more stable injection of life. There is a plentiful free-agent market, on where Jordan Matthews sits in, along with players such as Pierre Garcon, Terrance Williams, and Seth Roberts.

What this ultimately comes down to is how much belief the Eagles have. If a playoff berth is attainable and the whole of the NovaCare Complex is bought in, then 4 receivers and 2 tight ends just isn’t enough, especially without a top running back available.

If that belief isn’t there, there’s no point in potentially losing talent you want to nurture on the practice squad or even the final-roster, for a push that doesn’t exist, or a wish that won’t come true.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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