Turns out that Mack Hollins is much more than a deep threat.
Hollins, the Eagles' rookie fourth-round pick from North Carolina, recorded the first three receptions of his brief NFL career Sunday in Kansas City, with second-half catches of 11, 8 and 13 yards from Carson Wentz in the Eagles' loss to the Chiefs.
Hollins, who got just five offensive snaps in the opener in Washington, earned 17 snaps against the Chiefs and made the best of his chances. Will be interesting to see what this leads to against the Giants Sunday at the Linc and moving forward.
“I think it went well for my opportunities, but as a player your goal is always to win," Hollins said.
"I’d rather have zero catches in a win than a bunch in a loss, but it’s a start. It’s a situation that (receivers coach Mike) Groh has been preparing me for since I got here. Prepare like you’re going to be in the game, so if you do go in, there’s no dropoff.
"That was my plan when I got my opportunity. Just try to execute as well as I can."
All of Hollins' snaps so far have come in two- or three-wide sets filling in for Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor or Torrey Smith. He said he doesn't know if the increase in reps will continue.
“Really, whatever coach wants," he said. "If it goes to zero snaps this week and we win the game, then I played my role in what our goal as a team is to do, and that’s to win games. I’m ready for whatever coach (Dave) Fipp, coach (Pederson) and coach Groh throw at me. I’m ready to go."
At North Carolina, Hollins was known mainly as a deep threat. He led the NCAA with 24.8 yards per catch as a junior. From 2014 through 2016, his 20.6 yards-per-catch average was fourth-highest in Division 1 (just behind Shelton Gibson).
But he's shown since he got here he's much more than that.
“That’s something people have assumed since I was at Carolina," he said. "But I’ve been working at routes since I was at Carolina and I’ve been able to run routes since I was at Carolina. Obviously I’m not the best route runner because you can only get better, so I’m always working on my routes.
"But I think people assume I’m only a deep threat since that's primarily what I was at Carolina, but I can do more than that. I’m more than just a one-trick pony."
At UNC last year, Hollins was overshadowed by Ryan Switzer, who caught 96 passes for 1,112 yards, and Bug Howard, who caught 53 for 827.
The Cowboys drafted Switzer in the fourth round, but he doesn't have any catches the first two weeks. Howard was in training camp with the Colts but didn't make the team.
“We had one of the best receiving corps in the country with me Bug and Swittz and we were able to have Switz underneath and me take the top off," Hollins said. "If it works, do it, and it worked."
The most impressive thing about Hollins has been his comfort level. He really carries himself like a veteran, and on Sunday at Arrowhead he played like a veteran.
“Had a little butterflies but once I get a snap on special teams or offense, they go away," he said. "It’s football. We’re all here for a reason. They’re good players, we’re good players. So just be confident in your skill set, and I am."