The Philadelphia Eagles are signing free agent wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, according to his agency.
That’s pronounced: oh-llama-day zah-key-us.
Zaccheaus had somewhat curiously lingered on the open market despite being a 25-year-old coming off a career season. The 2019 undrafted rookie free agent saw 61 targets for 40 receptions, 533 yards (13.3 average), and three touchdowns with the Atlanta Falcons last year. Quarterbacks had a 109.5 passer rating when throwing his way.
Perhaps teams were deterred by his size. Listed at 5’8”, 193 pounds, he’s certainly not the most physically imposing player. He’s also not an amazing athlete, relatively speaking:
Olamide Zaccheaus went undrafted in the 2019 draft class.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 30, 2019
Olamide Zaccheaus posted a Good #RAS with V.Poor size, Good speed, Good explosiveness, Good agility at the WR position.#Falcons pic.twitter.com/pGv3Ink6Hv
Still, this seems like a nice little low-risk add for the Eagles.
Zaccheaus has experience playing in the slot; he spent 60.9% of his snaps there in 2022. There’s potentially an opening for someone to step up in that role. The Eagles are currently set with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith largely playing on the outside but they need more options behind their stars. Zach Pascal left to join the Arizona Cardinals after spending a year in Philly playing ‘The Enforcer’ role. Quez Watkins proved to be untrustworthy and it remains to be seen if the Eagles plan to do something about the unguaranteed $2.7 million he’s due in 2023.
It seems a bit premature to merely assume Zaccheaus is instantly overtaking Watkins but the former seemingly has a chance to earn a role in the Eagles’ offense. Perhaps Zaccheaus might also compete for a punt returner job? He only returned five punts in college and he’s returned just three in the NFL. We’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Believe it or not, Zaccheaus is actually slightly younger than 2022 Eagles free agent signing Britain Covey. The latter turned 26 in March while the former turns the same age in late July. Zaccheaus and Covey are similarish body types who project as slot/returner guys, so the two could be competing for one spot on the final roster.
The Eagles will likely still add some more wide receiver talent to their roster through the 2023 NFL Draft. The Zaccheaus signing hardly precludes them from doing so. But it does help to prevent them from having to force a pick at some point.
Zaccheaus had some extra incentive to sign with the Eagles considering the New Jersey native has local ties; he attended high school at St. Joe’s Prep in Philly. He’s also reunited with Marcus Mariota, who will be Jalen Hurts’ backup, after playing together in Atlanta last year.
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