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Eagles rookies shine in first preseason game

Report card time.

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Eagles’ 2022 preseason kicked off with a close loss to the New York Jets, but wins and losses are of no great importance at this time of year. What is important is the Eagles’ 2022 NFL Draft class saw a substantial amount of playing time on Friday and the team got some encouraging showings from their early round picks.

Jordan Davis: A

With Milton Williams, Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox established on the defense, Jordan Davis only saw a handful of snaps Friday night. However, the first round pick only needed a limited showing to see what he could do on the Eagles offense. Jordan Davis easily bullied the Jets interior offensive line, including some snaps where he seemingly blew up inside runs all by himself. Even more encouraging was to see him chase down runners from the backside, showing off his speed and hustle. It was a small glimpse into what Davis can do for Philly going forward, but a very encouraging one.

Cam Jurgens: A

Cam Jurgens got a ton of time on the field with Jason Kelce out with an elbow injury. That extra time was just more opportunity for Cam Jurgens to show everyone why he was the right pick for Philly in the second round. Jurgens looked like he belonged on the field with the starters, showing off the great instincts and quickness that made the Eagles love him in the first place. He showed his best stuff as a run blocker and running out on screens against the Jets. While the Eagles don’t need him to be a high impact starter soon, it is good to see him looking so comfortable at this point.

Nakobe Dean: A

Nakobe Dean played with the second team defense and kicked ass. He looked confident, fast and had no problem sifting through traffic to make plays against the run. It is exactly the type of play the team should want to see from the first year linebacker. Now let this man play with the first team in the next game!

Kyron Johnson: C

Kyron Johnson got some time on defense and special teams. He played with a lot of hustle but failed to make any positive impact. It is not a huge concern given his role will mostly be on special teams this year.

Grant Calcaterra: N/A

Out with an injury.

Josh Jobe: C

Josh Jobe has turned a strong camp into playing time, coming on as the second team outside cornerback across from Zech McPhearson. Jobe did not have a great night in coverage, but played very hard and was a willing tackler. It would be great to see Jobe get a bit more comfortable as the game slows down for him. Look for him to take a step forward in the next game.

Mario Goodrich: N/A

Mario Goodrich barely saw the field on defense in game one of preseason. Not a great sign for the UDFA, but maybe he is given more time in game two.

Reed Blankenship: B

Reed Blankenship led the team in tackles on Friday. While he wasn’t great in coverage, he played great against the run. Safety depth is probably the most open roster spot on defense right now and more games like this could keep Blankenship on the roster.

Ali Fayad: C

The reigning MAC defensive player of the year got a lot of time on the field against the Jets. While he did not register anything in the box score, he held his own on the edge as a run defender and pass rusher. Unfortunately for him, he got cut by the Eagles on Sunday.

Britain Covey: C

Camp has been buzzing about Britain Covey, but he did not make much of an impact in his first preseason game. The smaller receiver has been lauded for his quickness and polish, but failed to log a catch in his first game. He also sprained his thumb, which apparently hasn’t kept him from practicing since the game. Hopefully we will get to see more of him in game two.

Kennedy Brooks: B+

Kennedy Brooks scored one of the Eagles three touchdowns on Friday when he caught a one yard pass out of the backfield to go up on the Jets late in the fourth quarter. Before that catch, he showed off some nice power running on limited carries. While Brooks’ ending statline is not flashy, he consistently picked up yards after contact and seemingly turned bad blocking into positive yards with good vision and strong running. The Eagles could really use the emergence of a power back in their rushing offense and Brooks could be that guy if he keeps running like he did on Friday.

Devon Allen: N/A

The Olympic hopeful did not touch the ball on Friday, which is a bit of a bummer. Even if there are more polished receivers, the Eagles should use preseason to see what his speed could do on a football field.

Josh Blackwell: B

The UDFA Duke cornerback saw a decent amount of playing time on Friday and looked solid overall. He held his own in coverage and had one highlight play against a screen. Factor in nice play on special teams and Blackwell could be angling for a roster spot in a young secondary.

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