Day 3 pick with Week 1 potential: keep an eye on Eagles WR John Hightower
The Philadelphia Eagles had two major concerns coming into the offseason off of a playoff year from 2019: wide receiver and cornerback. They addressed the defensive side of the ball by trading for former Lions’ Pro Bowler Darius Slay, but hit the 2020 NFL Draft hard, selecting three receivers, including Boise State standout John Hightower in the fifth round of the event.
Coming out of the draft, The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs had a few issues with Hightower’s game, notable his hands, but stated if he cleaned them up he could be a nice depth piece:
“John Hightower projects as a low end wide receiver prospect at the pro level. Hightower has notable burst, explosiveness and sharpness through his cuts — but his issues at the catch point and finishing with his hands are problematic and loom as big barriers to consistently seeing the field in the NFL. He’ll drive you mad with the drops but in a vertical offense he should be able to create some separation. If he sorts out his hands, he’ll have the chance to work as a depth project.”
Now entering Week 1, it will be Hightower with the biggest impact among the rookie receivers for the Eagles as they look to get back to the postseason again in 2020.
Don’t sleep on John Hightower
The Eagles had big plans for first rounder Jalen Reagor this past year, as he was set to get a great chunk of touches early and often. However an injury has sidelined the former TCU Horned Frog for at least the first two games of the 2020 season. The Eagles also selected former Southern Mississippi speedster Quez Watkins on day-three of the 2020 NFL Draft as well, but he too has landed on the injured reserve.
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That leaves the Eagles in a similar spot to where they were a year ago: riding out aging veterans and taking chances on young receivers. Now the fifth active receiver on the Eagles’ roster, Hightower sits behind just Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and Greg Ward on the depth chart.
Why Hightower may have Week 1 relevance for the Eagles
Sure, Hightower may be the fifth receiver on the depth chart, but he may have the best run after catch potential on the roster. Jeffery and Arcega-Whiteside are big bodied threats down the field, Jackson is a deep threat, and Ward is a converted quarterback. Should the Eagles look to get their screen game going, it will more than likely be Hightower on the receiving end of those shots.
Should Hightower see a large quantity of shorter routes in his first ever game in the NFL, then he may just make a splash from a fantasy football perspective, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues. Likely taking over the role the Eagles had carved out for Reagor, Hightower has a chance to make a name for himself early on in his NFL career.