The Eagles have found their number one receiver in DeVonta Smith. That much is clear. But as the combine continues, and the draft gets closer, the need for a number two option has become more and more apparent. While Quez Watkins is a servicable #3 option, and Goedert is an excellent TE, the Eagles need to be confident in the man lining up opposite the former Heisman-winnner.
Whether that’s in the draft, or via free agency, the #2 receiver is a position of need in Philadelphia. Here are the five best options in the draft to pair with DeVonta Smith.
5. Christian Watson – North Dakota St.
Ask anyone involved with the Philly Sports Network, and Christian Watson is a draft crush for pretty much any of them. Watson’s intangibles at the combine have been superb, and he jumped off the table in team drills.
While he is a deep threat burner right now at this point in his career, he has solid hands and the body type to really develop into a perfect pair with DeVonta throughout his career. Will he be available for the Eagles in the second round? Probably not. But with three first round picks, the Eagles have the flexibility to make multiple moves on draft night to give themselves a chance to take this stud.
4. Jahan Dotson – Penn St.
As sure-handed as they come, Dotson would be another excellent pairing with Smith. He has the ability to make plays happen after the catch, and makes every catch.
Dotson is a great route-runner as well. The only issue that’ll come into question will be his overall playing size. Regardless, he has excellent footwork and can be taught to beat the press using his speed and technique a lot better than Reagor or Watkins showed over the last few years. I would envision him going in round 2, but certainly a player the Eagles could be very happy to get.
3. George Pickens – Georgia
In reality, the Eagles need a big target to pair with Smith that can go up and make any catch. Pickens does have some injury issues, but the intangibles are all there, he’s very quick and has a very strong resume of making tough catches.
6’3″, over 200lbs, and ran a 4.4 at the combine? Absolutely.
Pickens will need to show he can stay healthy, but everything is there for him to be an excellent combo for the Eagles and it won’t need to take a receiver in round one to get him.
2. Justyn Ross – Clemson
Another player that won’t go early, but the intangibles are there to match up with the skillset of Smith.
6’4″ 205lbs, and excellent on tape in his early career. The issue with Ross of course is the injury concerns. He had spinal surgery that kept him out for the entire 2020 season, and while the tape didn’t standout in 2021, it’s clear that Ross needs to show he can get back to the tape of ’18 and ’19. Regardless, Ross could be a later round selection that teams end up taking a flier on him based on full potential.
Philly would be very smart to take a chance on him in the later rounds.
1. Treylon Burks – Arkansas
A receiver that could absolutely be taken as the first one off the board, Burks can be a true #1 wideout in his career. Great size, great speed, and sure hands, Burks would be a player that would be a top receiver on most other teams.
According to NFL.com, the player comp for Burks is AJ Brown. The same AJ Brown that is a number one wideout in Tennessee and a true stud. If that comp is even close to being true, Burks would solidify the Eagles offense to being one with as much skill on the outside as the 2017 team.
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