It was the first time a Birds wideout has posted a 10 catch 150 yard day since Jeremy Maclin did it in 2014 (12 catches for 162 yards). And Fulgham is only the eighth Eagles player to do it since 1970 — Maclin did it twice, DeSean Jackson, Terrell Owens, Harold Carmichael, Fred Barnett, James Thrash and Kevin Curtis are the others to achieve that feat.
But when you’re an undrafted free agent who’s only on the team due to the abundance of injuries at the position, it’s easy for a defense — even one as stout as the Steelers’ unit — to overlook someone like that. Moving forward, teams will surely key on Fulgham as the Eagles top pass catching target.
We haven’t seen Wentz have this kind of confidence in any of his wideouts this season, as he’s routinely elected to tuck and run rather than throw the ball into tight windows. Fulgham proved he’s capable of coming down with contested balls, hauling in each of his three contested targets on Sunday. He also gained eight first downs and five of his receptions went for 15 or more yards. Not to mention Wentz has a 156.2 passer rating when throwing to him this year, two points shy of a perfect passer rating.
It’s hard not to get excited about the potential Fulgham brings to the table. Just 25 years old, standing at 6-foot-2 with the ability to make tough catches, what’s not to love? The only question is, can Fulgham sustain this success now that teams are aware of his ability?
Given the fact that Fulgham made a handful of contested catches, while also running a myriad of routes during the game, I’m leaning towards yes, he can carry this level of play throughout the season. He’ll certainly continue to get opportunities to prove himself with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean and Jalen Reagor all still nursing injuries. Alshon and DeSean are week-to-week, but even when they’re both back, Fulgham has earned his spot on the field.
Once Alshon and DeSean are back, the team will probably just take John Hightower and J.J Arcega-Whiteside off the field in favor of the veterans. Would anyone really complain about that? I know I won’t.
The whole theme of this past offseason was getting faster on the outside, but there’s still a lot of value in a big body receiver who can go up and make contested catches, especially when you have a quarterback who has never been the most accurate passer. And it’s not like Fulgham can’t move, he was getting open against the Steelers and he’s racked up 41 yards of YAC in two games.
The long-term outlook for Fulgham on this offense is promising too. His skillset seems to be a perfect complement to what Reagor brings to the field. Envisioning what those two could do together if they both play up their potential should put a smile on every Eagles fans’ face.
Only time will tell if Fulgham is the real deal. But after two solid games from the Old Dominion walk-on, I think this front office may have found an answer to one of their most glaring issues.