Mack Hollins proves he’s more than a special teams player

CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 24: Mack Hollins /

Eagles rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins had a solid debut against the Packers.

It didn’t take long for the Philadelphia Eagles to put their new rookie weapons to use in the first preseason game. In fact, some of them proved to be worthy enough of getting some reps with the first-team units. While some names may have stood out, no one had a showing like the fourth-round draft pick, Mack Hollins.

Hollins is a six-foot-four inch wide receiver who was drafted out of the University of North Carolina. When the Eagles selected him with the 118th overall pick, he was praised for his abilities on special teams. We expected Hollins to make an instant impact on the special-teams unit, but so far he has proved to be way more than that.

When OTA’s began in late spring, Hollins was one of the few rookie standouts at practice. He was being praised for his ability to catch with his hands. He also displayed quick speed for such a tall receiver. Despite all the hype coming from the practice field, you have to keep expectations in check for rookies. On Thursday night we got our first preview of Hollins during game time and it was surely a treat.

Hollins goes for six…

It didn’t take long for Hollins to get on the field and produce for the Eagles. He got some first-team reps and made what ended up being the best play of the night for the Eagles offense. Hollins made a nice catch across the middle on a pass by Carson Wentz and broke off from two defenders to score a 38-yard touchdown.

Although Hollins saw some reps with the first team unit, he remained in the game throughout the first and second halves. He ended the game with a total of four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles may have a crowded receiver corps this year, but Hollins is making a statement. Check out what head coach Doug Pederson had to say about Hollins’ big night.

"“Oh wow, I’ll tell you,” Pederson said. “I got to go back and look at the tape, but just general thoughts it looked like he played really well. He had a nice catch and run for the touchdown and a couple other big catches in the game.“He’s a guy, you know, we thought we were getting. He started his preseason off right.”"

What to expect…

So far, so good for the young rookie. He still has three more games to prove his worth on this team, but his debut definitely opened some eyes. The Eagles struggled tremendously in the passing game last season, so anyone who makes plays early on has a realistic shot at getting big time opportunities.

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Hollins will now have all eyes on him for the remainder of the preseason. We still have to keep expectations in check, but we would be lying if we said we weren’t excited to see more. Will Hollins be able to capitalize on his opportunity? Or will he quietly fade out as just a preseason superstar? Only time will tell, but it will be an interesting ride.