The last time the Philadelphia Eagles took a dip in the Boise State Broncos talent pool and fished out a wide receiver, John Hightower‘s name was scribbled onto a draft card. He became the 168th-overall selection by Philadelphia during Round 5 of the 2020 NFL Draft.
How do we put this nicely? The Birds are still waiting on the positive returns from that investment.
In two seasons, Hightower has only been able to muster ten receptions. The results of those ten grabs have been 167 yards receiving.
He has yet to reach the end zone for his first career touchdown, and other than back-to-back weeks in 2020 where he hauled in passes of 50 yards or more versus the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants in weeks six and seven, his time in the City of Brotherly Love has been forgettable.
Raise your hand if you forgot that he was still on the roster. That’s okay. No one will beat you up over that. He was recently signed to a reserve/futures deal (February 3rd), but don’t be shocked if Mr. Hightower’s run with the Eagles ends during final roster cuts ahead of the next regular season.
Could the Eagles dip into Boise State’s talent pool again during the late rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft?
It feels like we’ve picked on John Hightower much more than we needed to, so let’s be fair. Philly’s ability to coach up their young talent has left much to be desired. It’s hard to find something positive to say about the job his position coach, Aaron Moorehead, is doing, and perhaps. we’ve put too much pressure on the young man.
John Hightower was a fifth-round draft choice. The Eagles should have never have had to rely on him anyway, not with the number of players they’ve brought into the nest to satisfy their needs at the position.
Still, if Philly isn’t still scarred by the recent Boise State mishap, they could place their late-round draft hopes in Khalil Shakir. His and Hightower’s 40 times at their respective NFL Scouting Combines are identical (4.43 seconds). They possess comparable body types (John is six-foot-two and 190 pounds while Khalil is six-foot-tall and 190 pounds).
Shakir might be a slightly better player though despite Hightower’s experience, and in his final 12 games with the Broncos, he racked up 77 receptions for 1,117 receiving yards, and he reached the end zone seven times. Gish, we wish an Eagles receiver could hang 1,100 yards consistently.
Sorry, we regressed there.
In terms of how Shakir ranks, he’s been given third-day grades. Some see him as a fourth-rounder. Others say that he could be taken as late as Round 6. On their big board, Pro Football Focus ranks him as their 13th best receiver and the 80th-ranked draft prospect overall.
No one has ever mentioned theories involving any Eagles’ decision to trade one former late-round Boise State Broncos star for another, but maybe we should, that is if PFF is wrong and he’s around that long. Heck, even if we’re wrong, at least we would have made people angry and/or created a discussion, and sometimes that’s what life is all about.
It will be interesting to see how Khalil Shakir is valued and where he lands during the selection meeting.