Eagles rookie receivers continue a bad trend during the start of camp

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 17: Mack Hollins
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 17: Mack Hollins /

The Eagles’ rookie wide receivers continued a bad trend from last season on day one of training camp.

Last season was surely one to forget for the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiving corps. Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz experienced some early hardships when his receivers struggled to hold on to the ball. According to Stats.com, the Eagles were seventh in dropped passes in the NFL, with 24 total dropped passes.

After the 2016 season, the Eagles have made it a priority to find help for Wentz. They signed two veteran receivers, Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery. They, then, acquired some young talent in the 2017 NFL Draft. In the fourth round they selected North Carolina’s, Mack Hollins, and in the fifth round, they selected West Virginia’s, Shelton Gibson.

Although the two rookies weren’t selected within the first two rounds, Eagles fan base still have high expectations for both of them. Hollins made some noise during OTA’s and has quickly become a fan-favorite. Gibson, on the other hand, struggled to impress the analysts early.  Fortunately for the latter, there’s plenty of time to make improvements.

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Eagles rookies and selected veterans took the field on Monday to officially kick off training camp. Wentz was suited up to get some work in with his rookie receivers. Again, it’s only the first day of camp, but so far, things aren’t going as great as expected. The young receiving core continued to drop passes, an all-too-familiar trend from a season ago.

What is going on?

Hollins is showing some good self-discipline, but the fact that he is dropping the ball during drills raises some concern. He was praised during OTA’s for his hands, but this first week of training camp is what matters the most right now. During seven-on-seven drills, he also dropped a long pass from Wentz that should have been an easy catch. Hollins only had one drop in 2016 at UNC, but the season before that he had six of them. There’s no telling whether we’ll see the 2015 version of Hollins or the 2016 version, but he has plenty of time to get over dropping passes.

This has been a trend throughout the off season. Gibson’s struggles have been continual. Even after the receivers took a business trip to North Dakota, Gibson is still struggling to eliminate his drops. This comes as a shock considering the fact that Gibson had the most receiving yards on deep routes in the NCAA, and there were no drops. Unfortunatley, his transition from college to the pros hasnt been a smooth one.

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Although Gibson’s struggles have left some question marks, he still has plenty of time to turn things around. As for Hollins, he needs to make sure he doesn’t fall off from the pedestal he was put on after his solid OTA performances. Expect to hear a lot more from Eagles training camp on the progression of these two rookies.