Philadelphia Eagles Breakout Candidate: Josh Huff


Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Up first on my Philadelphia Eagles Breakout Candidate mini series is wide receiver Josh Huff. In this mini series, I’ll discuss each player that has a chance to breakout next season and give my thoughts and whether I think they will breakout or not. An average player may breakout by earning substantial playing time and taking his opportunity whereas a good player may breakout by becoming great.

I will start by looking at Josh Huff because I think almost everyone expects that he will breakout this season. If you look at any Eagles article that mentions five players poised to breakout, there is a high chance that Huff is one of the five.

Why he will breakout:

For a player to breakout they need to see their playing time increase, Josh Huff will almost certainly see his playing time increase a lot next season. The Eagles number three wide receiver spot is up for grabs and considering the Eagles play a lot of three wide receiver personnel, that position holds a lot of value. Last year, Jordan Matthews was the teams third receiver and he played 779 snaps.

The competition for the third spot isn’t particularly tough either.

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Riley Cooper

was probably the worst starting wide receiver in the NFL last year and

Miles Austin

hasn’t been good for a number of years. Huff is a good athlete and he flashed his explosive potential at times last year with a 44 yard catch and run and a kickoff return for a touchdown. Reports from minicamp show that Huff is lining up as the starting wide receiver along with


Cooper currently, highlighting how much his playing time should increase.

Let’s not forget how much Chip Kelly likes Josh Huff too, he drafted him in the third round despite already having Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews on the roster and the defense needing serious help in the secondary. Maclin played over 1000 snaps last year and whilst Nelson Agholor will play a lot of snaps, its unlikely he plays as many as Maclin did.

Why he won’t breakout:

Are we that sure that Huff is that good? I don’t mean to sound too pessimistic, but Huff’s rookie season was pretty much a disaster. Huff only had 8 catches for 98 yards all season despite playing 210 snaps. Jeff Maehl had 5 catches for 46 yards and he only played 82 snaps. In addition to this, per Pro Football Focus, Huff was targeted 17 times last season and managed to drop 4 passes. In comparison, Jordan Matthews dropped 5 passes with 98 targets and Riley Cooper dropped 3 passes with 91 targets.

So, Josh Huff was pretty abysmal last season. Yet everyone expects him to improve greatly in one offseason? Yes, Riley Cooper was terrible last year but he is a very good blocker and he’s being paid over $4m to be on the team this year so I expect him to still play a few hundred snaps.

I also think Huffs playing time might not increase as big as some people think. I expect the Eagles to play more two tight end sets than they did last season with Zach Ertz playing a big role, leaving Matthews and Agholor as the two wide receivers playing out wide. I also think the Eagles are going to the run the ball a lot with Ryan Matthews and DeMarco Murray, meaning the Eagles receivers will all have less targets.


This is difficult but I don’t think Huff is going to breakout like some people think. I think his playing time will increase but I don’t think he’ll play anywhere near the 700 snaps that Jordan Matthews did last year as the third receiver and I still think Cooper will play more snaps than him. Huff will get more snaps than he did last year but he needs to improve a lot to make them count. I expect Huff to catch around 30 passes next year for around 300 yards. An improvement yes but not as big as some may expect.

Next: Predicting Success For The 2014 Draft Class?

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