He’s not the fastest, he’s not the flashiest. All Greg Ward does is catch the football, toss it to the ref and go line up and do it again.
And on a receiver-challenged roster, this former college quarterback and undrafted free agent who they’ve released six times since 2017 is the best healthy receiver the Eagles have.
Granted, it’s a low bar around here. But the Eagles are awfully lucky to have him.
Three games into the season, Ward has a team-high 14 catches this year.
And he now owns a curious NFL record. More on that in a second.
“He’s a guy I have a lot of trust with, a lot of confidence in and he gets it,” Carson Wentz said. “He was a quarterback in college, he sees the game differently. He plays fast, he understands it. He does a great job … knowing where to be. I can’t say enough good things about how hard he has worked and what he is doing right now.”
Some interesting notes on Ward, who had a career-high 8-for-76 Sunday with a 29-yard touchdown catch from Wentz.
-His 42 career catches are most ever by an undrafted player in his first 10 games in NFL history. The only undrafted player with more catches in his first 10 career games is Bill Groman, who had 58 receptions playing with George Blanda on the 1960 Houston Oilers in 1960. The Oilers back then were in the AFL, but when the NFL and AFL merged, the NFL absorbed all the AFL stats and records. So technically, Ward is second on that list, although his 42 catches are really the most by an NFL receiver. Next on the list is Wayne Chrebet, who had 41.
-Ward's 42 catches are third-most ever by an Eagle in his first 10 career games, behind only tight end Keith Jackson, who caught 54 in 1988, and Jordan Matthews, who caught 44 in 2014. DeSean Jackson also had 42. And Ward didn’t even play on offense in his first game.
-Ward’s eight catches against the Bengals Sunday matched the most by an undrafted Eagle since James Thrash had 10 catches against the Seahawks in 2001.
-Ward’s 29-yard TD was the longest by an undrafted Eagle since Miles Austin had a 39-yarder against Washington in 2015. Curiously, Chrebet and Austin both attended Garfield High School in North Jersey.
-In just 10 career games, Ward already ranks 13th among all players in franchise history who began their career as undrafted Eagle rookies. The only undrafted players with more catches than Ward in the last 50 years are Chad Lewis (228), Charlie Smith (218), Thrash (164), Greg Lewis (127), Hank Baskett (72), Trey Burton (63) and Freddie Solomon (58).
-Ward already has four games with at least six catches. Jackson is the only other Eagles to do that in his first 10 career games. And Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley and Stefon Diggs are the only active players with more.
The closest comparison in Eagles lore to Ward is Jason Avant, who is now one of his coaches.
“He's been very big, especially in the start of training camp,” Ward said. “I was talking to him every day. He was showing me some things I can do (running) my routes, and that has definitely helped me out a lot. I've been adding those things to my game, and I'm just very thankful that he's here in the building with us and he's able to help me.”
And the Eagles are thankful they have at least one healthy wide receiver they can rely on right now to catch the football.