clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jordan Hicks is the bright spot of the Eagles' 2015 NFL Draft class so far

The Eagles aren't getting a lot of production out of their rookies.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles' 2015 NFL Draft class is the first group of rookies to be drafted under Chip Kelly that we know for sure he had final say on each pick. With that in mind, let's take a look at how these players have performed through the first seven games of the season.

First Round

WR Nelson Agholor

Many thought Agholor would be ready to play right away and possibly even be an upgrade over departed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Some even projected Agholor to be Rookie of the Year. It's safe to say Agholor hasn't lived up to expectations. The USC alumnus has eight receptions for 105 yards (13.1) and no touchdowns on 17 targets. He also has one fumble and one drop. Remember how Riley Cooper finished as the worst wide receiver as graded by Pro Football Focus last year? Well, Agholor might take home that "honor" this season. The rookie pass catcher ranks 107th out of 107 receivers so far.

One could argue Agholor's performance has suffered due to Sam Bradford's struggles. The quarterback hasn't always seen the field well and he's been reluctant to throw deep at times. Excuses or not, Agholor's production hasn't been great. There's time for him to turn thing around, but he needs to recover from an ankle injury that's kept him out of the Eagles' last two games.

Second Round

DB Eric Rowe

Rowe has the versatility to play safety or cornerback, but the team has used him exclusively as a conerback so far. Rowe has only played 108 snaps on defense. A lot of those snaps came when nickel safety Chris Maragos was injured and Rowe was forced to play in dime packages. Rowe has committed two penalties and allowed one touchdown. To his credit, he also had a nice interception in Week 3 against the Jets. The bulk of Rowe's playing time has come on special teams.

The Eagles' starting cornerbacks have played relatively well. Nolan Carroll has been a pleasant surprise while Byron Maxwell has been more up and down. E.J. Biggers hasn't been as awful as expected. It's not like the Eagles need to get Rowe on the field right now.

Third Round

ILB Jordan Hicks

It's funny to think how Hicks has easily been the Eagles' best rookie considering expectations for him were so low heading into the season. Hicks figured in as the fourth inside linebacker behind the likes of DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, and Kiko Alonso. He was only really going to be active to play special teams. Injuries to Kendricks and Alonso forced Hicks into action, however, and he's been great. Just take a look at the stats through 403 snaps played: 37 tackles, six assists, one sack, one interception, two passes defensed, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble. Hicks also knocked Tony Romo out of action for considerable time with a hit, as pictured in the photo above this article. The Eagles have a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate in Hicks, and more importantly, a defensive stud for years to come.

Fourth Round

The Eagles traded their 2015 fourth round pick for the Lions' 2015 third round pick. That's looking like a really good trade right now since the Lions (1-6) are arguably the worst team in the league. For perspective, the Eagles' No. 113 overall pick in 2015 was worth 68 points on the draft trade chart. The 2016 Lions pick could range be as high as 265 points. The Eagles don't have their second round pick due to the Sam Bradford trade, but the Eagles might have a very high third round selection thanks to this deal.

Fifth Round

No picks.

Sixth Round

CB JaCorey Shepherd

Shepherd was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list early in training camp. It's a real shame for Shepherd, especially since he was flashing some real potential during the offseason practices. Part of the reason why the Eagles were comfortable with trading Brandon Boykin away is because they really believe in Shepherd.

CB Randall Evans

Evans was waived in final cuts and currently resides on Philadelphia's practice squad. He didn't really flash this summer, good or bad.

Seventh Round

DE Brian Mihalik

Mihalik was waived during final cuts. He's not even on an NFL roster or practice squad right now. The Eagles are really deep at defensive end anyway.

Undrafted Rookie Free Agents

DB Denzel Rice

Despite being ranked as the lowest of the Eagles' UDFA signings, Rice ended up making the team. He's only played four special teams snaps this season.

OVERALL

The Eagles aren't getting a lot of good production from their rookies outside of Hicks, who is a stud. Agholor is starting but he's struggling. Rowe is mostly a special teams player. There's certainly time for these rookies to grow, but for now it's disappointing.