2. Jeffery’s absence and Goodwin’s decision to opt-out mean the young Philadelphia Eagles may be asked to produce sooner rather than later.
When the draft ended, we all looked at Philly’s depth chart, and we thought we all had things figured out. If you’re like most ‘Birds’ fans, you probably figured that, on a 53-man roster, Philly would carry six wide receivers, and if they did, those six receivers are probably Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Greg Ward, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Jalen Reagor, and Marquise Goodwin.
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Then, as expected, Jeffery wound up on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, and that global health crisis that won’t go away led Goodwin to believe that the best decision for himself and his family was to sit the 2020 campaign out. That left a second-year guy that did nothing in Year 1 (JJAW), the veteran who’s a constant threat of being injured (D-Jax), the rookie (Reagor), and an undrafted slot receiver who, up until the coaches recently began stating that they wanted him to have a bigger role, felt like he should be on the team but wasn’t assured of a roster spot (Ward).
Just like that, Hightower had gone from someone that seemed to be on a collision course with the practice squad to someone that wasn’t just someone who could make the team to someone who could start, and with his skill-set and size, the question now becomes, if Ward starts in the slot and Jackson is one the outside, who’s the other starter on the outside?
Wouldn’t it make sense to have some length out there? Reagor is truly gifted, but despite all of his gifts, no one will ever confuse him for being tall. Can we argue that maybe John Hightower is actually what we though JJ Arcega-Whiteside would be in Year 1? Maybe Hightower is the next Alshon Jeffery, one that can do something Jeffery isn’t known for, running past the coverage.