May 4, 2024   4 MIN READ

Tower Moves

6-6 Rookie WR Expects Height To Benefit Outside


PHILADELPHIA – Striding down the Eagles’ NovaCare Complex auditorium corridor en route to the podium for his first media availability, sixth-round rookie Johnny Wilson certainly looked the part.

Measuring in at 6-foot-6, the rangy Florida State wideout has drawn considerable intrigue, as his length, movement skills and widely encompassing catch radius gave him the presence of a human cheat code – if properly nurtured over the next few months.

“Being this size and being able to do some of the thing I can do with my body – getting in and out of breaks and having super long arms – sometimes it’s an advantage against small corners and smaller defenders,” Wilson said Friday.

“So, I’ve just, over the years, just tried to do a lot of training using my body to my advantage.”

Many pass catchers of Wilson’s dimensions carry only a handful of traits that translate to the pro level.

But for the Eagles to land an athletic, fluid mover with decent complementary long speed and a hulking frame, on the third day of the NFL Draft is an addition of upside.

A preeminent quality for his position, confidence isn’t lacking for Wilson, who named the fade as his preferred route, noting that the only way he can be stopped by a defender is if he drops it.

Seemingly well-versed in prolific Eagles pass-catcher history, Wilson quickly rattled off some of whom he models his game after.

“Harold Carmichael, he played here,” Wilson said, sporting a grin while talking about the franchise icon. “I loved seeing his highlights and his film. Alshon Jeffery was a dog here. DeSean Jackson, his separation at the second level was great.”

Johnny Wilson

Wilson said he hadn’t yet met Carmichael, the towering 6-foot-8 wide receiver who once terrorized defensive backfields for 13 seasons in Philadelphia.

But he said the Hall of Fame receiver reached out the day Wilson was drafted. So did current Eagles star wideout A.J. Brown.

But once the introductions were done, the message from Brown and Carmichael struck a serious and similar tone of getting to work, Wilson said.

Wilson, who spent his first two collegiate seasons at Arizona State before transferring to play in Tallahassee, accrued 84 receptions for 1,514 yards and seven touchdowns for the Seminoles.

Although his production and physical attributes were showcased on film, Wilson still couldn’t quiet the speculation of potentially having to be moved to tight end.

While his ‘tweener’ build likely contributed to Wilson’s sixth-round availability, the 23-year-old doesn’t envision moving away from his natural position.

“I play receiver,” Wilson said. “A lot of people have their opinions on what I should be. But I’m on this team, I’m playing for the Eagles, and there’s been no talk of me being a tight end.”

As for the Eagles, they remained unabashed in their pre-draft interest in Wilson, inviting the big-bodied receiver for a 30-visit that included a private, one-on-one conversation with general manager Howie Roseman as the two walked the perimeter of the NovaCare practice field.

The Eagles were also represented at Florida State’s pro day, specifically wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead. According to Wilson, Moorehead – who logged five seasons in the NFL – has been instrumental in onboarding him to the pro ranks from the moment they met.

“He’s always trying to give me those tips … ‘You’re a bigger guy, so you could always use this to your advantage,'” Wilson said. “Having a guy like that, kind of has somewhat of the same build as me, he’s definitely helped a lot.

“Especially with the playbook and getting acclimated around here, he’s very open to helping all the young guys. He treats everyone the same.”

Destined to grab the annual title of training camp darling because of his unique profile and pedigree, Wilson will benefit from being eased into the offense while obtaining knowledge and insight from a robust, star-studded support system.

For right now, though, Wilson is taking it all in stride.

“I just try to control what I could control right now,” he said. “Try to get the playbook down pat as quick and I can and just work my butt off. When my name is my called, it’s my job to go out there and do my job.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

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