Forget the Draft, the Eagles Have to Add One of These Receivers in Free Agency

Photo Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not exactly a hot take to say that the Eagles need another receiver in 2022. Unless Jalen Reagor morphs into Jerry Rice during year three, then the Reagor/Quez Watkins/DeVonta Smith trio probably isn’t good enough to round out a complete NFL offense. I know there are people out there who think Jalen Hurts is the problem, but those same people would hopefully also agree that you can improve the receiving corps regardless of your stance on the QB.

More than one thing can be true!

Smith did a lot of nice things this year. He broke DeSean Jackson’s rookie receiving yards record while adding five touchdowns. Watkins added 647 yards and a touchdown while Reagor regressed to a total of 299 yards and two touchdowns. Greg Ward has some utility as a red zone slot guy, but JJAW is a bust and there’s not much in the pipeline beyond him.

You look at the Smith/Reagor/Watkins trio, and to me it feels like you have a WR1 and a pair of WR3s. Watkins, on most teams, would probably settle in very nicely as WR3, maybe like a Tyler Boyd behind Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, if you wanted to make that comparison. Watkins could quite possibly be the Eagles’ Michael Gallup if CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper were in front of him. That’s the type of parallel I’m trying to draw here.

The Eagles have a good tight end in Dallas Goedert, and Reagor is going to be in camp this summer, because they’re not booting a first round draft pick, outright.

So the final piece to the puzzle here is a quality receiver in free agency. Preferably a bigger bodied possession guy, and possibly on a one-year prove it deal. They could replicate what they did with Alshon Jeffery in 2017, and scour the market for a guy that can come in and fill a specific need.

Forget the draft. They have too many holes to fill elsewhere on the team. You could make a strong case for drafting one guy at every level of the defense with those three first round picks. Draft a lineman, a linebacker, and a safety, and patch up a defense that needs help.

Then go into free agency and see if you can snag one of these dudes:

Allen Robinson

Robinson would be target #1 in my mind, the ideal guy.

After posting back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, he saw his targets decline by two-thirds this year, which was crazy. Chicago’s offense was a dumpster fire and he was barely used in the final year of his contract.

He’s a savvy, veteran guy. Great route runner, good at getting up and attacking the ball. He really would be a nice complement to DeVonta Smith on the other side of the field, and he’s still in his 20s. He’s got some good years remaining.

Mike Williams

6’4″, 215 pounds, and 27 years old.

Williams tore it up in Los Angeles to the tune of 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s gonna have a lot of of suitors willing to pay him a ton of money, and going after a guy like Williams would be predicated on the Birds’ offseason philosophy here. Only Howie Roseman knows if he wants to splash cash on a receiver or do a one-year deal instead. If it’s the latter, then Williams probably is out of the question, though he does have a connection to Shane Steichen from their shared time with the Chargers.

Chris Godwin

Godwin tore his ACL and MCL and obviously didn’t play against the Eagles this past Sunday. He’s a fantastic receiver but goes into free agency with some question marks because of the injury.

He played this season on a franchise tag but he’s 25 years old and looking to get paid. He’s had two 1,000 yard seasons in the last three years and is probably the 2nd or 3rd best WR in free agency. The only way the Birds sneak in here I think is if enough other teams have reservations about his rehab and recovery.

D.J. Chark

Big-bodied guy who was excellent in 2019 and 2020, but he broke his ankle early this year and only played four games. Could be worth a look. He was damn good when healthy and fits a need:

A.J. Green

He’s getting up there in age, now 33 years old, but he actually went for 848 yards and three touchdowns in Arizona this year. If the Eagles want to do a stop-gap signing at receiver, and kick the can down the road until 2023, they could do worse than Green.

Davante Adams

He’s not coming here, but one can dream. I felt obligated to put his name here, just so nobody on Facebook would say “what about Davante Adams?”

Cedrick Wilson

Had a good year in Dallas behind Lamb, Cooper, and Gallup. It feels somewhat disgusting to even write the guy’s name in here, but he’s a good player and I think he’d be a solid fit here:

Christian Kirk

More of a dynamic guy who can do a bit of everything out there. He had a really nice season with Kyler Murray, catching 77 passes for 982 yards and nine touchdowns. That receiver group with a healthy D Hop was pretty damn good.

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