Eagles management previously hinted that Carson Wentz would give input towards the wide receiver position. I assume that input was screamed.
The 2017 Eagles, with four new receivers, have taken off their glasses and become the sexy librarian. Talent, size, speed, and experience are plentiful. Hope and expectation are reasonable. Wentz will have receivers that actually catch the damn ball....and they'll catch it deep.
Last season the Eagles wore floaties in the deep end. The lack of receiving talent, paired with Wentz's inconsistency led a nerfed Eagles offense. They were 24th in passing yards despite being 6th in attempts. They finished 28thin net yards per passing attempt. The highest yards per catch of any receiver with at least 25 catches was Jordan Matthews with 11.
The eye test was not an illusion. The Eagles were downright pitiful in the deep game. Things will be different for Wentz this year.
Alshon Jeffery, the top free agent signing, is the complete package. At 6'3”, 218 pounds and in the prime of his career, Jeffery is the prototypical Bullseye to Wentz's Sheriff Woody. He's physical, speedy, and most importantly, effective in the deep game. For his career, Jeffery averages 15 yards a reception. That mark would have led the team by 4 yards a reception. For players with at least 25 catches, Jeffery was 11th in the entire NFL in '16 with 15.8 YPC.
That same knack of stretching the field is prevalent in the other Eagles additions too. Torrey Smith, a career speedster, is even better than Jeffery down the field. He's averaging 17 YPC over his six years in the NFL. Rookies Mack Hollins (20.6 YPC) and Shelton Gibson (22.6 YPC) showed great ability to stretch the field as well. This is not a coincidence.
It all goes back to Carson Wentz. It became clear throughout the season that the lack of a deep game affected him. Constantly dinking and dunking drove him mad. It was like he was driving a go kart in the Indy 500. As a result he forced throws, made unneccessay turnovers, and hurt the Eagles chances of winning.
This year will be different. Wentz has a talented arsenal of threats that play football the aggressive way that he enjoys most. I expect him to be calmer in the pocket, more efficient as a passer, and a few steps closer to reaching his full potential.