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Philadelphia Eagles Roster Questions: Who is the WR3?

Eagles Roster: With the surprise retirement of Devante parker on Monday, the Eagles roster has another question they will need to answer.
Eagles WR3

Who’s The Third Receiver on the Eagles Roster?

There was some pretty big news for the Eagles roster last Monday night. Ex Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots wide receiver, Devante Parker, announced his retirement from the NFL. Parker was expected to play for the Eagles in 2024, but after a nine-year career, he decided to call it quits. It’s not a devastating loss for the Eagles, but it could prove to be significant. With Kellen Moore’s first season as offensive coordinator approaching the Eagles will need a solid third wide receiver. Moore utilizes a lot of 11 personnel (1 tight end and 3 receivers), and while Parker wasn’t a standout at this point of his career, he was a veteran receiver who could fill that role well. Without him, the Eagles will need to find a replacement and figure out if they are already on the roster.

Eagles Current Wide Receivers

Outside of A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, the Eagles have 8 receivers on the roster. Three of them stand out as potential replacements for Parker. One is Parris Campbell, another NFL veteran who’s struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. He’s only had one season out of six where he’s gotten over 200 receiving yards and isn’t a very assuring option as a starting wide receiver.  The Eagles also drafted two receivers, one in the fifth round and one in the sixth. Ainias Smith was the Eagles fifth-round selection, and he may be the most suited to be the replacement. He’s a tough slot receiver who doesn’t have tremendous size, but he’s good with the ball in his hands. He can become a really solid slot receiver who can work the shorter routes but also occasionally challenge defenses deep.

The sixth-round receiver the Eagles selected, Johnny Wilson, has all the size. He stands at 6’6” and 231 pounds, and while he has intriguing physical traits, he’s a work in progress when it comes to route running. He would also not be able to play in the slot and would likely force Devonta Smith into that role. However, while the rookies have some long-term potential to monitor, day three rookies being forced to be a day one starter isn’t all that assuring either. In all likelihood, the Eagles will need to go into the market for another receiver. Lucky for them, there are interesting options out there.

Watch: Johnny Wilson Film Study

Potential Eagles Targets

There’s already been some steam for the Eagles to pick up former New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas. Thomas would be a good addition to the Eagles because he can slide right into the slot receiver role. However, it’s been a struggle for him in the last few years dealing with injuries. While he might be the highest upside target for the Eagles, the risk is whether he can give the team a full healthy season. Another good fit with the Eagles is free agent Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow is a limited player, but his strength relies on being a quick and shifty slot receiver, something the Eagles could benefit from. The last name that makes sense for the Eagles is Russell Gage. Gage missed the 2023 season with a knee injury but has proven to be a dependable receiver in the slot or on the outside when healthy.

The need for another receiver on the Eagles roster is real. With the options available they will likely have to rely on a committee of sorts for this need. While Michael Thomas or Russell Gage could fulfill that need, how likely is it that one of them could stay healthy for the entire season? Thus, they may end up having to sign multiple receivers to fill wide receivers three and four. However, luckily for them, there are still some decent options and plenty of routes to take to address this need.

Main Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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