The Eagles have a problem when it comes to explosive plays from the wide receiver position, but the 2021 NFL draft class could help alleviate some of that pain.
In 2020 per PFF, Philadelphia ranked 30th in yards after the catch, 24th in missed tackles forced while getting open at the lowest rate in the league (54%).
A remedy for that pain would be drafting wideouts that flourish at producing yards after the catch.
Two guys Philadelphia passed on in previous drafts, the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel and Titans’ A.J. Brown are two of the league’s best at adding yards above expectation regardless of the target depth and they’ve become two of the top YAC monsters in the NFL.
Here are 5 2021 prospects that can help the Eagles solve the YAC problem.
Tutu Atwell, Louisville
Wide receiver Tutu Atwell runs after a catch during the University of Louisville’s Football Pro Day at the Trager indoor practice facility on Tuesday. March 30, 2021
As 6864 Proday
The smallish frame shouldn't sway the Eagles from targeting the former Louisville star. Atwell can fly and during his time in the ACC, the wideout had the highest yards per route run, yards after the catch per reception, and total yards per reception averages in all of college football. Nick Sirianni loves crossing routes and screens and the Eagles should put Jalen Hurts in a position to succeed by adding explosive weapons.
Rondale Moore, Purdue
1. Rondale Moore WR Purdue
Moore is built similarly to Colts running back Nyheim Hines, and he'd provide the Eagles a weapon that can be explosive at all three levels. Moore is one of the best entering the draft at yards after the catch and forced missed tackles.
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Oct 17, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) catches a pass after Georgia defensive back Tyson Campbell (3) fell. Waddle turned the catch into a 90 yard touchdown during the second half of Alabama's 41-24 win over Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
Waddle is the obvious choice here and he's hands down the most explosive of the Alabama duo entering the draft. Waddle will also alleviate the Eagles' struggles in the return game as well.
Kadarius Toney, Florida
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney of Florida (1) catches a pass during the American team practice for the NCAA college football Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
The 6-foot, 193-pound wideout can make plays at all three levels and is amongst the best at yards after the catch per reception (8.77) and forced missed tackles per reception (0.358).
Terrace Marshall, LSU
Oct 24, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. (6) catches a touchdown over South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
With Chase opting out Marshall exploded in 2020 and he's just as efficient in gaining yards after the catch and yards per reception. One of the bigger slot-wideouts in the draft class, Marshall excels at yards after the catch just as well as Kadarius Toney and other explosive players.