I’m eager to see the Eagles wide receivers play tonight because none of them, other than Jordan Matthews, who has been consistent enough to be named a starter, has shown that they clearly should start. Former Giant Rueben Randle is very close to securing himself a starting spot, but he hasn’t quite nailed down yet.
We’ve seen quite a few flashes from Nelson Agholor and Chris Givens as they have battled through training camp, but their consistency needs to improve. Josh Huff has been even more sporadic, so he needs to have a big night even more than Agholor or Givens.
Too many times in practice, I see Eagles receivers double-catching the football, which means bobbling the ball or not catching the ball cleanly. If you don’t catch the ball cleanly in practice those bobbles are going to become incomplete passes during a game because a defender is going to knock it out of your hands.
I expect Randle to continue to show his experience by making plays consistently and taking one of the starting jobs. There are three of them and as I said, Matthews, who will miss the game tonight due to a knee injury, already has one of the starting spots in his pocket. I expect Sam Bradford to get the ball to Randle tonight because usually quarterbacks will look for veteran guys they can depend on. Randle has earned some respect from the Bradford and the other quarterbacks during camp, so I expect them to look for him when they can.
Agholor is the guy with the most potential for a break out performance, but he needs to finish the play when he’s out there. He’s got the quickness and speed to do something special, but he has to stay focused. Too many times during this camp, I have seen Agholor be unable to protect the ball once he catches it. He needs to focus on securing the football first when he catches it, rather than trying to run after the catch too soon. He must put it away, then use his athleticism to make something happen.
Huff is one of the best receivers on the roster when he gets the ball in his hands, but he drops too many passes. I’ve seen them get the ball to him on quick screens, but he bobbles the throw and disrupts the play. The former Oregon receiver also has the ability to contribute on special teams. It could be the factor that keeps him on the team.
Givens has shown his deep speed during the training camp and he has a familiarity with Bradford, which could be the factor that keeps him on this football team.
Free agent Paul Turner has a chance to find his way on the roster, but he’s an underdog along with T.J. Graham. Turner, who is undersized has looked good in the slot because of his ability to break quickly.