Hightower and fellow rookies Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins may have to pick up some of the slack after Marquise Goodwin opted out of the 2020 season, ESPN.com's Tim McManus reports.
All four wideouts have two things in common: 1) they were acquired by Philadelphia in late April; 2) they're known for their speed above all else. Reagor, a first-round pick, is a roster lock and potential Week 1 starter, whereas Hightower (fifth round) and Watkins (sixth) figure to compete for depth roles. At first glance, it was difficult to see how both Hightower and Watkins would fit on the regular-season roster, but the Eagles may have room for the two similar rookies now that Goodwin is out of the equation. There's also a decent chance Alshon Jeffery (foot) misses the early part of the year, so the Eagles may find room on their roster for all six of Reagor, Hightower, Watkins, DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. And even if only five make the cut, Hightower has a pretty good chance to survive.
The Eagles selected Hightower in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 168th overall.
Hightower (6-foot-1, 189) is skinny and will be a 24-year-old rookie, but his production at Boise State was strong enough to conclude that he has NFL-level talent despite his college age advantage. Hightower caught 82 of 138 targets the last two years, generating 1,447 yards and 14 touchdowns. With a 4.43-second 40 and 38.5-inch vertical, Hightower showed just enough athleticism at the combine to see his explosiveness translating to the NFL. He's way down the depth chart in Philadelphia, however, with all of Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor and Marquise Goodwin locked in ahead, and the likes of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward posing further competition.