Eagles Free Agency shopping list: Wide receivers

NFL: SEP 26 Cardinals at Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 26: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) signals for a first down during the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Jaguars on September 26, 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles have an arsenal of draft picks to unleash in a few months’ time, but before mock draft season truly starts, all eyes should turn to the free agent market.

Here are five wideouts that Howie Roseman should circle in red when the market opens.

Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson might be the most attractive free agent wideout for the Philadelphia Eagles as far as wide receivers go. He’d very much fill the boots of an Alshon Jeffery/Travis Fulgham-type X-receiver to partner with DeVonta Smith, giving Jalen Hurts a big-bodied target who dominates down in the red zone…which the team has been missing since Fulgham’s descent into obscurity.

He did seem to have a bit of a down year in 2021, amassing only 410 yards and a single touchdown while playing on the franchise tag in Chicago. A change of scenery could be welcomed and he could come at a slightly cheaper price thanks to the down year and a scarily deep free agent wideout class.

Robinson had 1,250 receiving yards to his name in 2020 and can absolutely get back to that level of production. The Eagles don’t have a physical wideout in their group and he fits the ’28-year-old’ mold of a Howie free agent.

The WR position needs veteran leadership and Robinson is a player who has both thrived and struggled during his time in the NFL. He could be the perfect person to mentor a very young room, as well as introducing a previouslt missing dynamic to the offense.

Mike Williams

Williams is another big-bodied wideout who exudes aggression in his game. He really proved himself worthy of a big deal this season and ended it on a high, reeling in 119 yards in the week 18 win over the Raiders in that game.

Justin Herbert is a similarly young QB who really benefitted from the physically dominating wideout, with the duo converting on 64% of their fourth-down passes this year. There’s no doubting that Hurts could benefit from the 6’4 wideout.

Williams ended his year with 1,146 yards, marking the second time he’s passed the 1k mark, and his best season to date since entering the league in 2017. This may drive his price up, especially given that his fifth-year option was around the $15M mark. However, the Eagles should be able to make a reasonable offer, it just depends on whether or not they want to pay someone WR1 money, knowing full-well what they have in DeVonta Smith.

 D.J. Chark

A reportedly beloved wideout by Howie Roseman and company during the draft process, Chark ended up in Jacksonville after the team decided to go all-in on Dallas Goedert. However, there’s no reason he can’t make his way home.

At only 25-years-old, the 6’4 wideout brings 4.3 speed to the table fitting the mold of rapid receivers recently carved by the front office. He also just so happens to be just the kind of ‘low-risk, high-reward’ player that Howie would salivate over.

Chark’s 2021 season ended after just four games due to a broken ankle. In 2020, he put up 706 yards which was a pretty substantial drop-off from his sophomore breakout where he eclipsed 1,000 yards and scored 8 touchdowns. However, the Jags offense was atrocious and littered with quarterback issues.

Chark fits the bill of a zippy receiver who can not only create separation with his route-running, but compete for those 50-50 balls and bail out a quarterback who struggles with ball placement. All this and the fact he’s a 25-year-old, on a cheaper deal thanks to an inflated market and a quiet two years? Count me in.

T.Y Hilton

The link here with Nick Sirianni is a big one. The Eagles Head Coach coordinated the offense that saw Hilton race to over 1,200 receiving yards in 2018. Hilton is a lot smaller than your typical X-receiver. However, that 2018 season under Sirianni has been the only time in five years that he’s topped 1,000 yards. Hilton also had 6 receptions of 40+ yards to his name with Andrew Luck taking full advantage of his ability to create separation at the beginning of the route.

Jalen Hurts might not be Andrew Luck, but he could benefit from a receiver like Hilton who can be a jack-of-all-trades and move all over the line of scrimmage. His experience would be of huge benefit to DeVonta Smith and a young group, and Nick Sirianni did nothing but speak glowingly of his play during his time with the Colts.

Christian Kirk

Two words: Aaron. Moorhead.

I loved Christian Kirk coming out of Texas A&M and a lot of that is due to Moorhead’s ability to develop wide receiving talent. Before being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, Kirk was a pupil of the future Eagles WR Coach and fared pretty well.

2017: Christian Kirk: 919 yards, 10 TD, 13 games
2016: Christian Kirk: 928 yards, 9 TD, 13 games
2015: Christian Kirk: 1,009 yards, 7 TD, 13 games

Kirk has become a lethal slot weapon in Arizona and is almost the perfect example of what Jalen Reagor should’ve developed into. He had 982 yards this year and looked impressive when asked to fill the boots of an injured DeAndre Hopkins.

The only issue with this signing would be that it may push Quez Watkins out into the cold, unless they believe he or Kirk can shine at the Z spot. Both make their paydirt out of the slot which could make for an interesting dynamic going into camp and beyond. However, the upside that Kirk brings should be more than enough to calm those concerns.

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire