The Philadelphia Eagles selected a wide receiver in the first round in the last two drafts, and this year, they could do it again. Executives told ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay that the Eagles’ preference is Jameson Williams.
Williams, a wide receiver out of Alabama transferred from Ohio State and is coming off a breakout season. He finished 2021 with a career-high 79 catches for 1,572 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. He ranked seventh with 19.9 yards per reception.
He tore his ACL during the National Championship game, however, Pro Football Focus still ranked Williams at No. 16.
POTENTIAL FIT FOR THE EAGLES
The current Eagles’ depth chart is extensive at the wide receiver position.
After J.J. Arcega-Whiteside made his switch to the tight end position last week, the Eagles still have seven receivers vying for a roster spot, and despite the large number, the team is in need of someone substantial.
The Eagles are one-for-two in regard to their most recent first-round picks. In 2020, Philadelphia selected Jalen Reagor who has had back-to-back less than par seasons. However, the team’s saving grace came in 2021 when the Eagles selected DeVonta Smith. In his rookie season, Smith completed 916 yards and five touchdowns, surpassing DeSean Jackson’s rookie record. He will begin 2022 as the team’s leading receiver.
Philadelphia also has deep threat Quez Watkins, Greg Ward, John Hightower and Devon Allen. They also recently signed former Colts’ receiver Zach Pascal.
As it stands, Smith, Watkins, and likely (Ward) will be shoe-ins. If the Eagles proceed with signing five players to their active roster again, two spots are up for grabs.
Williams, who is known for his speed, would be a significant upgrade. At 6-foot-1, 179 pounds, his slender frame is similar to Smith’s, giving him the advantage to separate himself from defenders. He’s also able to get into a route much faster than his counterparts, providing a throwing alternative for second-year starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Todd McShay predicts the receiver will go before No. 16. Luckily, for the Eagles, this gives them a slight lead with the No. 15 overall selection.
The 2022 NFL Draft will begin this Thursday, April 28.