Best Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receivers of All Time: DeVonta Smith Earns Final Spot

    The Philadelphia Eagles have had some electrifying playmakers at wide receiver. Who are the best players at the position in franchise history?

    The Philadelphia Eagles have a lengthy history of talented players at wide receiver. Since the franchise’s foundation in 1933, Philadelphia has been home to several of the best wide receivers in NFL history.

    Although the Eagles receive much attention for the wide receiver duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, they aren’t the first superstars Philadelphia has seen grace the position. Who are the best wide receivers in the Eagles’ history?

    Best Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receivers of All Time

    While the Eagles are mostly known for the franchise’s Hall of Fame defensive players, the talented wide receivers who have played in Philadelphia are often forgotten. In fact, two former Eagles receivers have been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Yet, despite the presence of two HOF wide receivers, it was difficult to rank the five greatest players at the position in franchise history. Terrell Owens is known as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, but he only played for two seasons in Philadelphia.

    Then there are historic icons such as Pete Retzlaff and Pete Pihos, who were dominant during their time with the Eagles. However, they didn’t stand out as much as another legend that made the final cut.

    Here are the five best Eagles wide receivers of all time!

    5) DeVonta Smith

    While it might seem crazy to include Smith on this list, he’s well on his way to exceeding this spot when his career in Philadelphia is over.

    Since being selected with the 10th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Smith has met all expectations in Philadelphia to start his career. Despite playing just three seasons with the Eagles, he already ranks 21st all-time in franchise history with 3,178 receiving yards.

    If Smith maintains his current pace for just four more seasons, he’ll rank second all-time in receiving yards for the Eagles.

    Smith’s durability, versatility, and reliability make him one of the best wide receivers in franchise history. At just 25 years old, he could realistically break several franchise records in Philadelphia before he even turns 30.

    The “Slim Reaper” has quickly asserted his dominance in Philadelphia. Smith’s mark of 63.6 receiving yards per game is tied for third-most in franchise history among wide receivers who played at least 50 games with the team — an average that is only exceeded by Mike Quick and DeSean Jackson.

    4) DeSean Jackson

    Speaking of Jackson, there may not be a more electrifying player in franchise history. Many fans will rightfully say that legendary safety Brian Dawkins deserves that title, but Jackson was essentially the offensive equivalent in Philadelphia.

    The Eagles selected Jackson in Round 2 of the 2009 NFL Draft. While many NFL teams were scared off by Jackson’s lack of size at just 5’10” and 175 pounds, he more than made up for it with his game-breaking speed.

    MORE: Best Philadelphia Eagles Quarterbacks of All Time

    Jackson was legitimately a threat to score every time he touched the ball. He put that on display as both a wide receiver and a punt returner. Jackson’s epic walk-off punt return touchdown against the New York Giants in the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands” in 2010 is one of the greatest plays in league history.

    Despite a frustrating end to his Philadelphia tenure, Jackson finished his Eagles career third all-time in receiving yards and ninth in receiving touchdowns. His 68.5 receiving yards per game is the highest average of any player with over 50 games played for the Eagles.

    3) Tommy McDonald

    Tommy McDonald was selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 1957 NFL Draft. He initially played running back but made the switch to wide receiver during the ninth game of his rookie season following an injury to Bill Stribling.

    It was a key moment in McDonald’s career as he hauled two passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns to help the Eagles beat Washington by a final score of 21-12. He used the momentum from that opportunity to turn himself into an eventual member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    McDonald was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, as the first wide receiver to join the legendary club as a member of the Eagles. He finished his Philadelphia career seventh all-time with 5,499 receiving yards and second with 66 receiving touchdowns.

    McDonald also helped the Eagles win the NFL Championship in 1960.

    2) Mike Quick

    While Quick is still a prominent personality in Philadelphia due to his commentary during Eagles games, he was a dominant WR on the field in Philadelphia first.

    Quick was selected by the Eagles with the 20th overall selection in the 1982 NFL Draft. Although his career was eventually derailed by injuries, he had one of the most dominant stretches for a wide receiver in franchise history. From 1983 to 1985, Quick eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark receiving in three straight seasons.

    In five years, from 1983 to 1987, Quick was an elite scoring threat. He hauled in a whopping 59 receiving touchdowns during that time, and his ability to stretch the field with speed and score on nearly any play made him dangerous.

    Quick finished his career in Philadelphia fourth all-time with 6,464 receiving yards. He also had 61 touchdowns receiving, tied for third most in franchise history. If it weren’t for injuries ruining the second half of his career, Quick would likely land the top spot on this list.

    1) Harold Carmichael

    When Quick arrived in Philadelphia, he was brought in to eventually fill some big shoes at at the position — both literally and figuratively. Quick was tasked with replacing legendary wide receiver Harold Carmichael.

    At 6’8″ and 225 pounds, Carmichael brought rare size to the position in the NFL. After being selected by the Eagles in Round 7 in 1971, it’s fair to say that Carmichael exceeded expectations in Philadelphia.

    Carmichael was a dominant force for the Eagles, especially in 1973. In his third season, Carmichael hauled in 67 receptions for 1,116 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. While his yearly numbers won’t blow anyone away, Carmichael’s consistency and reliability are what made him so special.

    KEEP READING: Who Are the Best WRs in NFL History?

    After being denied for far too long, in 2020, Carmichael became the second Eagles wide receiver to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He finished his career in Philadelphia as the franchise’s all-time receptions leader with 589 and receiving yards with 8,978.

    Carmichael’s status as the greatest wide receiver in franchise history is hard to argue.

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