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Eagles Rookie Report Card: Jalen Hurts leads Philly on the road to victory

Grading picks from the 2020 NFL Draft class.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Yesterday’s win over the Saints was arguably the biggest game for Eagles rookies since Carson Wentz’ first start in the NFL. All eyes were on the Eagles’ second-round quarterback as he took over for a struggling Wentz against one of the best defenses in the NFL and still surrounded by the supporting cast that Wentz had flailed with for the previous 12 games.

Jalen Hurts: A

Hurts’ passing numbers weren’t flashy against New Orleans. He completed 56% of his passes for under 170 yards. However, Hurts played almost mistake-free football and that was a huge part of the Eagles being able to upset the Saints.

Wentz’ play has completely destroyed any sort of rhythm the offense could have had in the previous three months. The sacks, the big hits taken and the horrible accuracy and decision making has led to so many negative plays. Hurts took one hit in the pocket last night and it was on a play where he threw a strike to Alshon Jeffery for a touchdown and the defender was called for roughing the passer.

Hurts wasn’t asked to do much in terms of complexity, but that is to be expected of a rookie quarterback in his first start. What is notable is how efficiently he ran the offense against, once again, one of the NFL’s best defenses. Hurts was mostly on time with the screens, roll outs and swing passes that moved the Eagles down field. He showed nice ability on “conventional” drop back plays with his touchdown pass and another few passes to Dallas Goedert.

His mobility was an obvious plus from last night. Hurts rushed the ball 18 times for over 100 yards and only about half of those runs were designed. Hurts did a great job feeling pressure in the pocket, escaping and picking up positive yards. He also did a great job protecting himself on runs, rarely opening himself up to big hits. The other big factor of his mobility was its impact on Miles Sanders. Defenders were forced to second guess every hand-off between Hurts and Sanders, opening up big holes for the Eagles running back to attack. The Eagles’ 246 yard rushing performance heavily relied on Hurts’ mobility and the constant threat of his ability to run.

Hurts ran the offense better than Wentz has all year, even if the training wheels were still on. If the Eagles can keep supporting him over the last few weeks of the season with great play calling and a strong running game, Hurts should have plenty of opportunity to continue growing and making plays.

You cannot really ask for much more from a rookie in his first start. Especially against such a great opponent.

Poll

Grade Jalen Hurts’ Week 14 performance

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    A
    (1827 votes)
  • 22%
    B
    (554 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (41 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (11 votes)
2440 votes total Vote Now

Jalen Reagor: B

After his best game of the season last week, Reagor had a new challenge catching passes from another rookie while facing a great defense. While Reagor’s night wasn’t high volume, he played well.

Reagor’s first catch of the night came on a wide receiver screen. Reagor read the blocking wrong and cut to the outside of the other receiver instead of going inside. If he had followed the play, he probably would have made a bigger play. Luckily, due to his athletic ability, he was still able to gain a solid seven yards.

Reagor’s ability with the ball in his hands was the story of his night. Reagor caught a short pass on a mesh play and turned upfield for a 39 yard gain. The play design was perfect with a tight end carrying defenders downfield and opening up tons of space for Reagor and Reagor capitalized on that opportunity beautifully.

His last touch of the night came on a wide receiver reverse where he carried the ball for 19 yards. Once again, his instant acceleration is a dangerous asset and the Eagles finding easy ways to get him the ball made a difference against New Orleans.

Reagor’s rookie season has been underwhelming to say the least, but last night showed off the ways in which he is still a talented player with plenty to offer. It is exciting how the team might keep getting him the ball for the last three games of the year.

Poll

Grade Jalen Reagor’s Week 14 performance

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    A
    (206 votes)
  • 65%
    B
    (1209 votes)
  • 21%
    C
    (396 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (18 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1834 votes total Vote Now

Jack Driscoll: B+

Driscoll, like his rookie counterparts, benefited from a pretty simple game plan. Against the vaunted Saints front, Driscoll wasn’t asked to block on five or seven-step drops. He was asked to mostly play downhill as a run blocker and he played a big part in the Eagles massive rushing performance.

Driscoll has had an up and down rookie season, but he should be encouraged by what he and the offensive line accomplished yesterday.

Poll

Grade Jack Driscoll’s Week 14 performance

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    A
    (464 votes)
  • 55%
    B
    (744 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (126 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1346 votes total Vote Now

K’Von Wallace: C

K’Von Wallace saw a ton of defensive snaps last night. While he didn’t log a stat, he also looked out of position throughout the evening. He is lucky the Saints weren’t able to pick on him.

The secondary is incredibly banged up right now and Wallace will likely be forced into more starting time over the next few weeks. Wallace’s response will be huge for him and it’s hard not to see this as a huge chance for him to grow.

Poll

Grade K’Von Wallace’s Week 14 performance

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (22 votes)
  • 10%
    B
    (114 votes)
  • 49%
    C
    (552 votes)
  • 32%
    D
    (361 votes)
  • 5%
    F
    (56 votes)
1105 votes total Vote Now

Shaun Bradley: B

Bradley continues to be a contributor on special teams and even made a few snaps on defense. Bradley has been solid, yet unspectacular in both roles.

Poll

Grade Shaun Bradley’s Week 14 performance

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (37 votes)
  • 32%
    B
    (288 votes)
  • 54%
    C
    (483 votes)
  • 6%
    D
    (57 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (22 votes)
887 votes total Vote Now

Quez Watkins: N/A

Watkins only saw the field a bit and caught one pass for three yards. Nothing too fancy.

John Hightower: N/A

John Hightower was inexplicably a healthy scratch yesterday. I don’t want to get too caught up in personnel decisions regarding a day three rookie, but it is a head scratcher to leave Hightower on the bench when he was targeted on so many big plays early in the season.

This is generally in line with how questionable the Eagles personnel decisions have been regarding their wide receivers. I’m sure Travis Fulgham also has some questions about his limited participation in the offense over the last few weeks.