Eagles’ John Hightower Excited to Play with ‘One of the GOATs’

John Hightower

Getty Boise State speedster John Hightower joins a revamped Eagles receiving corps that is super fast.

If the 2020 campaign is indeed a referendum on Carson Wentz, then consider one slightly nonpartisan vote in the quarterback’s corner.

Eagles rookie receiver John Hightower recently conducted a question-and-answer session on Instagram where he chatted with fans on a bevy of topics. One thing the fifth-round draft pick made clear was that he was “definitely excited” to play with Wentz. In fact, Hightower called the Eagles quarterback “one of the GOATs” (for the uninformed, GOAT is an acronym for Greatest of All-Time). He’s ready to get to work, something he alluded to on draft day.

“My receiver coach at Boise State always told us to take advantage of every opportunity you get,” Hightower said at the time. “So every opportunity that I got, I just tried my best to take advantage of it. Tried to score every time I would get the ball, run great routes, get open, try to get the ball, and score.”

Wentz worked out with a small group of receivers in early June down at his residence in Houston. Hightower wasn’t there but first-round pick Jalen Reagor and newcomer Marquise Goodwin were in attendance. Wentz mentioned how “extremely pumped” he was to integrate those two and all the new guys into the offense.

Wentz said: “Those two [Reagor and Goodwin] jump off the page, but going down the list to the other rookies we drafted, I know we added some speed and explosiveness that I’m excited to be creative with and find ways to get those guys the ball.”

Hightower is a former track star who ran a blistering 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He patterns his game after the Bills’ Stefon Diggs, although he doesn’t want to be stuffed in a box. He cautioned against comparing him to anyone, especially not speedy teammates like Goodwin and DeSean Jackson.

“Both them faster than me,” Hightower said. “I’m just going to go in there, do what I can, learn from them, and do the best that I can.”

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Whispers Surrounding Wentz’s Future in Philly?

There have been whispers that this is a make-or-break year for Wentz. The Eagles finally surrounded him with weapons and there are no lingering injuries from wear and tear.

The 27-year-old exited his lone playoff start after just nine snaps last season thanks to an unfortunate head injury. It continued an unprecedented string of bad luck that saw him tear his ACL in 2017 and watch a backup quarterback lead the Eagles to the promised land. The excuses are over.

“We’ve shown how we feel about Carson by our actions,” Eagles GM Howie Roseman said after the draft. “We showed it by the amount of picks we put into him and we showed it by the contract extension and we believe this is a guy to lead us to our next Super Bowl championship.”

Wentz enjoyed a magical run in 2019 before the concussion in the playoffs. He threw for a career-high and franchise-record 4,039 yards and completed 63.9 percent of his passes. Throwing to practice-squad players and inexperienced backups, he single-handedly gutted out an NFC East crown for the Eagles.

“I hated not being out there [in the playoffs],” Wentz said. “I hated dealing with a head injury and it’s a scary part of the game. Makes me that much hungrier to get back to work so we can do something bigger.”

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