The Eagles added four new wideouts during draft weekend: Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins and former 49ers wideout Marquise Goodwin. They certainly went with the draft by volume approach at wideout, but you can’t blame them after the abundance of injuries the position dealt with last season.
As of right now, barring any upcoming trades, the depth chart at wide receiver looks something like this:
- WR1 — Alshon Jeffery, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, John Hightower
- WR2 — DeSean Jackson, Marquise Goodwin, Quez Watkins
- Slot — Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward
- Practice squad — Deontay Burnett, Shelton Gibson, Robert Davis, Marken Michel, Khalil Tate
The likelihood of Alshon being healthy at the beginning of the season is still doubtful, so he obviously won’t be the starting WR1 on opening day. Chances are he’ll be placed on the PUP list, forcing him to miss at least the first six weeks of 2020.
With that being said, expect a mix of DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to get the bulk of the snaps early on in the season. Both Goodwin and Ward will likely be in rotation in certain situations; Ward will probably handle slot duties if Reagor moves to the outside for a play, while Goodwin could potentially spell Jackson on the outside since there will be little drop off in the speed department between the two.
Both John Hightower and Quez Watkins will probably get opportunities to take the top off the defense with their blazing speed, but I wouldn’t expect a huge workload for these two in 2020 (barring injury to one of the starters of course).
The Eagles have a lot of versatile wideouts to work with this season, so Doug Pederson could get pretty creative with the pairings/trios he puts on the field. Reagor on the outside with Jackson in the slot is a possibility, Goodwin moving to the outside as a deep threat with Ward in the slot and JJAW on the outside opposite of Goodwin is another one. The possibilities are endless.
Having one of the tight ends in the slot is also something we’ve seen Pederson do in the past. It’s a great red zone package and it worked pretty well last season, so even with the influx of new wideouts, don’t expect Pederson to go away from his 12 personnel when he gets to the red zone.
Most of the players I have on the practice squad were on the practice squad to start last season as well, with the exception of Khalil Tate. Some of those guys will likely get cut when it’s all said and done.
The depth chart will likely change week-to-week at wideout. They don’t really have a clear cut No. 1 wideout, but they have several versatile receivers who can be utilized in a number of different ways. It’ll be interesting to see how Pederson and the rest of the offensive coaching staff decides to employ these guys.