Going into the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eagles have the chance to turn it’s wide receiving woes around. Yet, the closer we get to the draft, the more unlikely it seems they complete that task. Here are five Wide Receivers that are still free agents and could make an immediate impact on the Eagles receiving corps with minimal salary cap hits.
Receivers Still Available:
Richardson last suited up for the Redskins in 2019 and is still being paid a dead contract of $6 million at the hands of Washington. He played in 10 games last year and finished with 28 catches for 245 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Richardson’s best year came in 2017 with the Seahawks, where he played in all 16 games and started 13 of them. He had 44 catches for a total of 703 yards and six touchdowns.
The former Second Round draft pick has been in the NFL for five years and hasn’t found much success in his two previous stints. However, his talent is untapped, and he’s been a product of either horrid quarterbacking in Washington, or too much positional depth in Seattle. Richardson is 6’0” tall and can stretch the field with his speed, and depending on who the Eagles end up drafting, Richardson could be a good filler for Desean Jackson, given Jackson’s inability to remain healthy throughout a full season.
Former Bears speedster, Taylor Gabriel, would also be a good fit for the Eagles. Gabriel is a 5’7” slot wideout that can break open the field with his raw speed and acceleration. In just nine games with the Bears last year, Gabriel finished with 29 catches for 353 yards and four touchdowns. Gabriel averaged 7.4 yards per target and scored on a 54-yard bomb on a seam route. He finished with a 60.4% catching percentage and would bring unique skills to both the WR room and to the Special Teams department.
Taylor is 28 and has been on three NFL teams since his rookie year in 2014 with the Browns. Gabriel’s best year came in 2016 with the Falcons, where he finished with 35 receptions for 579 yards and six touchdowns. Much like Richardson, Gabriel would be a reliable backup option behind Desean Jackson.
Rogers has been around the NFL since 2016 when he was signed as an Undrafted Free Agent out of Grambling State University. Rogers has played with the Colts throughout his entire career and had made a decent impact on them. As an undrafted rookie, Rogers appeared in 14 games and finished the year with 273 yards. 2018 was his best year with Indianapolis when he played in all 16 games for the Colts and caught 53 receptions for 485 yards and two touchdowns.
Rogers was primarily a Slot receiver but was asked to take on multiple roles as a Colt. His six-foot frame allowed him to breakdown his defender with speed while being able to go up and high point the ball with his vertical ability and height compared to a typical Slot receiver. Rogers was also the Kickoff and Punt Returner for the Colts throughout his days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Much like the two free agents above, Rogers would likely fill in as a backup to Desean Jackson and work primarily out of the slot.
Hogan has been in the league since 2012 when he debuted with the Buffalo Bills. The most notable years of Hogan’s career were with the Patriots and Tom Brady. In 2016 Hogan finished with 38 receptions for 680 yards and four touchdowns. During that season, Hogan had finished with 17.9 yards per catch, which was among the top in the NFL. He won two Super Bowl championships and would bring maturity to a presumably young Eagles receivers group.
Hogan, a 31-year-old, wouldn’t just be an impactful player on the field. He would be able to be a mentor in the locker room for young receivers like Greg Ward, JJAW, and whomever the Eagles end up drafting. Don’t get me wrong, Hogan would contribute as a wideout, and he proved his abilities in New England. His latest stint was with the Panthers in 2019, where he had only started one game. He finished 2019 with eight receptions for 67 yards, and this was the least productive he’s been.
Hardy was drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Hardy has played in almost every game for the Falcons (73 of 80 games), but he has only produced 946 career yards. Atlanta decided to part ways with Hardy after the 2019 season even though it was his best year. His 73.1% catching percentage was impressive as he was only targeted 26 times. Hardy has speed that kills, and he exemplified it on a 70-yard punt return TD a few years back.
Hardy has learned from some of the best receivers in the NFL with the Falcons, and his potential is untapped. Some tout him as one of the most “underrated WRs in the NFL.” He’s an absolute workhorse that can beat DBs to the sideline while being able to stretch the field vertically. He’d be a reliable pickup and could take some of the weight off of Alshon Jeffrey and Desean Jackson.
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