In a season where the Eagles have been struggling to find their identity on offense, the team has stumbled upon key building blocks for both the present and future.
Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles selected JJ Arcega-Whitside in the second round. JJAW was described as the replacement piece for the aging and often injured Alshon Jeffery, but that didn’t work out as planned.
JJAW’s rookie year was filled with bumps and bruises as he tried to find his place on this team. The Eagles tried to cross-train him at different positions which only made things tougher on the rookie. However, it did give the fans and media alike a glimpse at what the Eagles wanted at wide receiver.
In the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected Jalen Reagor at 21st overall. They needed a receiver that could play all across the line of scrimmage. Reagor ticked every box and added blistering speed to the equation too.
The start to Reagor’s NFL career was a bumpy one. A thumb injury forced him onto IR after flashes of elite potential were apparent in his opening two games. The TCU star returned to action against the Cowboys, recording his first-ever NFL touchdown.
While Reagor clearly has all the tools to excel in this offense, the good news is that he will likely have a long-term running mate…and it’s someone nobody would’ve expected at the start of the season.
With the Eagles WR corps falling apart just a few months after the Draft, they stumbled upon a hero who was cast aside by Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. The Eagles claimed Travis Fulgham off of waivers back in August and he has proven to be an absolute gamechanger.
Fulgham was selected in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft at 184th overall. JJ Arcega-Whiteside was selected at 57th overall in the same draft, but if you compare how the two athletically tested, they are scarily similar. The Eagles were able to snatch a receiver of the same prototype for a fraction of the price and have never looked back.
Fulgham has taken full advantage of his opportunities as he’s become the Eagles WR1 in just 5 games with the team. The ODU product has completely set Philadelphia, racking up 435 receiving yards on 29 receptions for 4 touchdowns. That puts him on pace for 75 receptions, 1,131 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
Can you remember the last time that this team had a reliable tandem at WR? Sure, you can consider Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffrey in 2017 but I’m thinking bigger picture here. How about this:
That’s the potential of this tandem. The Eagles tried to replicate that duo by bringing DJax back at an older age and hoping to rely on the often injured Alshon Jeffery but we’ve only seen them together for one game. While Alshon is set to make his return against the Giants, don’t think for a second that he’ll be taking snaps away from that duo. Think more so of him eating into Ward and Hightower’s snaps instead.
The Eagles are getting healthy at the right time. They’re in first place in the division even while the world is criticizing Carson Wentz more than ever, thanks for that Brett Favre, but if Fulgham and Reagor can stay healthy for the rest of the season we may see something special brewing between Wentz and his two budding stars. The potential is flashing and the ceiling has yet to be seen for this tandem.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire