5 significant questions for the Eagles at wide receiver

We like the top two guys on the depth chart, but we have a lot of questions about the Eagles' wide receiver room.
A.J. Brown (L), DeVonta Smith (R), Philadelphia Eagles
A.J. Brown (L), DeVonta Smith (R), Philadelphia Eagles / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Somewhere, Donovan McNabb has to be sick. Seriously, he has to be asking himself where A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith were during many of the peak years of his career. Yeah... We know! We know! 5 had Terrell Owens for a while. He played with DeSean Jackson for two seasons. Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy joined the Birds in 2009, but he has to look at A.J. and DeVonta and ask 'what if?', right? Who wouldn't?

Some say games can be won without elite wide receivers. Maybe that's true. T.O., Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, and Chad Johnson never won Super Bowls. Neither did D-Jax, but here's what we can guarantee.

They weren't the reasons why their teams didn't win one.

'5' taught us a few things. One never knows how important wideouts are until your best options are James Thrash and Todd Pinkston. His time with T.O., as toxic as it was, taught us something else.

Had he been given an elite weapon at wideout, his numbers would have been off the charts. Jalen Hurts would have been fortunate to have had A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith on his side. Having both is truly a blessing.

There are still questions that need answering about the Eagles' wide receivers. Here are a few of the most pressing.

1. Who knew DeVante Parker's retirement would have some significance?

While it wasn't Philly's most exciting offseason acquisition, the more we thought about DeVante Parker's addition, the more we liked it. He could have benefited Philly as someone who could fill in on the outside or in the slot. His unexpected retirement, believe it or not, seemingly sets the Eagles back a tad.

DeVante wouldn't have been one of Jalen's top options in the Eagles' offensive attack. He has, however, kickstarted many depth conversations.

2. Where is the depth behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith?

The top two guys on the Eagles' depth chart at wide receiver are two of the NFL's best at their position. Heck, they have a shot at becoming pro football's top wide receiver duo if they aren't there already (no disrespect to the guys in Miami or Cincinnati).

A.J. and DeVonta will eat again in 2024, but what if one or the other gets hurt? This unit looks a lot different if that happens. That's a guarantee.

3. Will rookies Ainias Smith and Johnny Wilson see significant playing time early?

Philly added two wide receivers in the most recent NFL Draft, Ainias Smith and Johnny Wilson. Might both see significant on-field time right away?

Smith is shifty and can also handle return duties. Wilson is built like an edge rusher. Both are raw, but both are also talented. Steve Smith Sr. has expressed his questions about Wilson though.

In a perfect world, these two will contribute immediately (and well). We'll see what happens. It's up to their wide receiver coach, Aaron Moorehead.

4. Would the Eagles have signed John Ross had DeVante Parker not retired?

One of the surprise acquisitions of the offseason was John Ross's addition almost a month after his rookie minicamp tryout. He's a former first-rounder, but how excited should we be over this signing?

Philly saw fit to sign Parris Campbell, Austin Watkins Jr., Jacob Harris, and Shaquan Davis before they signed Ross. Joseph Ngata and Britain Covey are two of the holdovers. That says a lot.

If this is a comeback story, we're all for it. We can't help but wonder though. If something is left, why has he sat out so long, and what took so long to sign him?

5. Is the Eagles' third wide receiver even on the roster yet?

As the Eagles readjust their depth chart, Parris Campbell has seemingly climbed into its top half at the wide receiver position. He impressed during Philly's first open OTA practice, but we're talking about 7-on-7 drills and non-contact workouts minus pads.

Parris could conceivably seize the WR3 role for himself. So could Ainias Smith or Joseph Ngata, but there's something we have to consider. This team needs depth on the outside. Philly's third wideout may not be on the roster yet.

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