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Eagles Rookie Report Card: Final grades for Jalen Reagor and other 2020 draft picks

Room for both encouragement and concern.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Eagles’ disappointing 2020 season is finally over. Here’s a final assessment of how the team’s top rookies fared.

Jalen Reagor: D

To say Jalen Reagor’s rookie season was underwhelming would be generous. The first round pick took to the NFL slowly and his inability to be an immediate big play threat held back the offense in a big way. He had just two catches longer than 25 yards.

Reagor doesn’t look like a natural receiver right now. His routes are inconsistent. His awareness on the field is poor. His lack of ball skills made him a non-factor on deep targets. For all the talent Reagor has, the talent that got him drafted so high, he had a hard time applying it to the field. Pre-draft concerns about effort and consistency came to light as the Eagles’ season deteriorated. Reagor’s injuries didn’t help him and the success of the rookie wide receiver class definitely makes his year look worse.

To put a positive spin on all this, not all paths are the same for NFL wide receivers. The league has been spoiled by a lot of young breakout stars in recent years, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Davante Adams, one of the best receivers in the league, only had his second thousand yard season this year. He didn’t break 1K until his fifth season! Same with Golden Tate. Look at how Nelson Agholor has had a mid-career revival… The truth is that Reagor’s rookie year was very frustrating, but he is still very talented. The Eagles should continue to build out the wide receiver corps this offseason, but Reagor will likely be a factor going into his second season.

Poll

Grade Jalen Reagor’s rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (32 votes)
  • 1%
    B
    (126 votes)
  • 33%
    C
    (2370 votes)
  • 34%
    D
    (2489 votes)
  • 29%
    F
    (2095 votes)
7112 votes total Vote Now

Jalen Hurts: B

The Jalen Hurts pick inarguably sent a damaging ripple through the team: Both in terms of the riff it caused with Carson Wentz and the allocation of premium resources on a rookie quarterback when the team had other pressing needs. None of that is really up to debate. However, when looking at Hurts’ season, there is plenty to be encouraged by. Hurts is impressive when it comes to his poise and playmaking ability with his feet. He surprised as a passer in a solid performance against New Orleans and a brilliant game against Arizona.

Hurts has plenty to work on, especially when it comes to improving throwing the football, but it is clear that he has the ability to play at a high level as an NFL quarterback. Importantly, he is not a gimmick. A “Taysom Hill” role was talked about for Hurts all offseason and that’s how he started out when Carson Wentz was the top guy. But with how Hurts performed down the stretch, it will be hard to relegate him back to being a gadget player. Who knows what this offseason will bring for the Eagles, but Hurts played admirably with a bad team around him and deserves a shot to start for this football team in 2021.

Poll

Grade Jalen Hurts’ rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    A
    (1133 votes)
  • 44%
    B
    (3003 votes)
  • 31%
    C
    (2111 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (355 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (167 votes)
6769 votes total Vote Now

Davion Taylor: F

This pick was so questionable when it happened and it’s hard to feel good about it a year into Davion Taylor’s career.

The athletic defender was picked to bring some speed to the linebacker group, but he could hardly see the field on defense. When he did, he often looked out of position against the run and in coverage. Taylor was alright as a special-teams player, but his outlook is a head scratcher at this point.

Poll

Grade Davion Taylor’s rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (42 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (17 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (142 votes)
  • 19%
    D
    (1020 votes)
  • 76%
    F
    (3971 votes)
5192 votes total Vote Now

Jack Driscoll: C-

Jack Driscoll had an up-and-down rookie season, but with all the offensive line tumultuousness, you have to be impressed with his ability to play solid football at all. The Eagles’ musical chairs routine on the line forced Driscoll in and out of the line up and with different players next to him. Driscoll plays with a lot of effort and had some bright moments as a pass and run blocker. Offensive tackle is one of the few deep positions for the Eagles with Lane Johnson and Andre Dillard returning next year and Jordan Mailata having a breakout season. However, Driscoll provides some nice depth and could even compete to play guard.

Poll

Grade Jack Driscoll’s rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (146 votes)
  • 38%
    B
    (1938 votes)
  • 40%
    C
    (2052 votes)
  • 14%
    D
    (722 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (216 votes)
5074 votes total Vote Now

John Hightower: D

John Hightower had a promising start to his rookie season. Despite drops, Hightower was shaping up to be a deep ball specialist. He would keep defenses respecting the long ball while he threatened the big play.

Strangely, his playing time fell off a cliff in the midseason as Travis Fulgham temporarily emerged and Alshon Jeffery returned to the lineup. Eventually Quez Watkins overtook him and Hightower was a distant memory. The Eagles mismanagement of wide receivers this year was one of their many sins, and one can only wonder if Hightower could have contributed more if he played more.

Poll

Grade John Hightower’s rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (26 votes)
  • 2%
    B
    (102 votes)
  • 27%
    C
    (1311 votes)
  • 42%
    D
    (1999 votes)
  • 27%
    F
    (1298 votes)
4736 votes total Vote Now

Quez Watkins: C

Quez Watkins’ high marks come by nature of him making the line up late in the season. The rookie speedster had a great highlight against Arizona where he took a screen pass to the house. That is enough to have even a glimmer of confidence in the rookie receiver. The wide receiver room is going to look a bit different in a few months, but Watkins should compete for playing time.

Poll

Grade Quez Watkins’ rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (48 votes)
  • 12%
    B
    (562 votes)
  • 48%
    C
    (2189 votes)
  • 30%
    D
    (1370 votes)
  • 7%
    F
    (358 votes)
4527 votes total Vote Now

Michael Jacquet III: C

Michael Jacquet’s rookie season will be remembered as Cowboys wideouts devouring him in a critical game, but Jacquet deserves a bit of slack.

The undrafted rookie is new to the position and played his butt off against Arizona’s talented group of receivers. Jacquet is a physical, athletic player whose effort was impressive at least. The Eagles secondary was an injured mess this year and Jacquet was relied on to single up with some of the best receivers in the game. He should be back in camp next year and allowed to compete for a roster spot.

Poll

Grade Michael Jacquet’s rookie season

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (43 votes)
  • 7%
    B
    (324 votes)
  • 33%
    C
    (1465 votes)
  • 34%
    D
    (1491 votes)
  • 23%
    F
    (1024 votes)
4347 votes total Vote Now

The Wrap

The Eagles had a few rookies playing important snaps this year and a few who were mostly relegated to special teams. K’Von Wallace, Shaun Bradley and Jason Huntley didn’t see much action in the offensive or defensive line ups. Wallace especially is surprising given the thin secondary.

The rookie class saw a lot of playing time, but ultimately its inability to make a large positive impact was a big piece of Philadelpha’s disappointing season. It’s hard not to be frustrated given how many immediately good rookies there were in the league this year, but frankly almost nothing went right for the Eagles in 2020, so why would this. It isn’t the end of the world. Reagor is still talented. Hurts could compete to start next season. Here is hoping a “normal” offseason will bring some stability to this organization and these young players. They’re going to need