5 wide receivers that the Eagles should target to replace DeVante Parker

The surprise retirement of DeVante Parker grabbed a few headlines earlier this week and put the receiver depth chart under the microscope. The Eagles’ never-ending quest to find a quality slot receiver took another twisted turn in the labyrinth.

Parker was supposed to compete with Parris Campbell for the starting job at training camp, with third-year man Britain Covey fighting for the leftover snaps. The Eagles are hoping Ainias Smith — a fifth-round pick out of Texas A&M — eventually blossoms into the long-term answer there but the team is being extra cautious with the triple-threat player as he recovers from a semi-serious shin injury. It’s unclear how much work he’ll see at OTAs.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – SEPTEMBER 19: Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) goes up for a catch during the NFL Football match between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills on September 19th, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles are “trying to take me slow,” Smith said. With everything in flux at the slot receiver position, let’s take a look at some candidates to step in and start in Week 1.

Parris Campbell

The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is the odds-on favorite to take the job after a forgettable year in New York. Campbell, a guy the Eagles flirted with drafting in 2019, seems to check all the boxes: sneaky speed (4.31 seconds in the 40), good hands (dropped only 4.5% of his passes in 2022), and familiarity with the offense (he played under Nick Sirianni for two seasons in Indianapolis). The only thing holding him back has been injuries which is why the Eagles might be inclined to bring someone else into camp.

Jarvis Landry

CLEVELAND, OH – JANUARY 09: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) leaves the field following the National Football League game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns on January 9, 2022, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The five-time Pro Bowler sat out the 2023 season so questions about rust and durability are warranted. He’ll turn 32 years old in November, too. Yet there is no denying Landry has been one of the best slot receivers in the league during his borderline Hall of Fame career. From 2015-20 (via Pro Football Focus), his 3,938 receiving yards, 1,748 yards after the catch, 1,166 yards after contact, and 91 explosive receptions topped everyone lined up in the slot. Landry is currently at Jaguars OTAs on a tryout basis.

Michael Thomas

Dolphins vs titans
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) makes a catch past Tennessee Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton (26) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

There was a time not too long ago when Thomas was in the conversation for best receiver in the NFL. It helped that Drew Brees was his quarterback, but let’s not dismiss his immense talent: 565 career receptions for 6,569 yards, with 36 touchdowns. Can he stay healthy? Does he have anything left in the tank? It might be worth it to find out, especially if it’s true the Cowboys are sniffing around him.

Terrace Marshall

If the Eagles wanted to explore the trade market, look no further than Marshall. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder out of LSU was granted permission to seek a move out of Carolina prior to last year’s trade deadline, but the Panthers didn’t find an offer they liked. Marshall stayed. His production dipped. He saw 335 total snaps (29% of the offense), plus only five targets after October 31. He’s got one foot out the door. Let him in, Howie.

Hunter Renfrow

It’s mind-boggling that the one-time Pro Bowler can’t find a home. The Raiders cut him on March 13 and his suitors have been few and far between. Why? It makes no sense. Renfrow has been extremely productive in his first five seasons: 269 catches for 2,884 yards and 13 scores, including a league-high 103 receptions in 2021. He is the poster boy for what a slot receiver should be, from a physical standpoint and in terms of skillset and would be a great addition for the Eagles.

Who do you think should be the Eagles WR3 for this season?

AP Photo/Butch Dill