The Eagles 2019 draft class was one with many headlines. Some good, some bad, but most wre promising. The majority of the Eagles rookies left you with an imprint on what their future with the team may look like while others have you questioning their ability still. Heres a full-on report card on how the rookies faired for the season and what to look forward to in 2020.
Andre Dillard – Offensive Tackle
Drafted in Round 1, Pick 22
Dillard was the Eagles’ most prized possession of the NFL 2019 draft. They leapfrogged the Houston Texans to draft the young offensive tackle and it was all for good reasoning! Dillard made his career debut quicker than most expected due to an injury that caused Jason Peters to be sidelined for several weeks. During that time, he played 336 snaps while only allowing 4 sacks. He also had one penalty versus the weekly drive-killing penalties of Jason Peters. Dillard’s most impressive performance came against Khalil Mack and the Bears.
Miles Sanders – Running Back
Drafted in Round 2, Pick 53
You’re probably wondering why I’m grading this as an A+. Miles Sanders came into the NFL as probably the most unproven back in the draft. After playing backup to Saquon Barkley, Sanders broke out and led Penn State in rushing, but for only one season. Fortunately, that’s all it takes with Miles. One Season.
In one season, Sanders broke two Eagles rookie records. The first was the most rushing yards by a rookie and the second was the most all scrimmage yards by a rookie. Do you know who those records belonged to? LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. Sanders also led all rookies in total scrimmage yards as well as all-purpose yards. He finished the season with 818 rushing yards, 509 receiving yards and 314 yards in kick returns. Needless to say, the Eagles have their franchise running back.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside – Wide Receiver
Drafted in Round 2, Pick 57
This one is going to be a tough one to grade for so many reasons but it has to be done. First and foremost, his rookie season may have been dictated by the complications of cross-training. JJ has a specific skillset, one that mirrors Eagles WR1, Alshon Jeffery. Mike Groh has had difficulty in the past when it comes to integrating receivers into their offense but again we don’t know really know what Mike Groh actually did for this offense.
JJ showed signs of potential towards the end of the season, raking in big-time catches against the Giants and the Cowboys. But after that, the Eagles rookie was very limited due to a foot injury. All eyes will be on Arcega-Whiteside for the 2020 season as the Eagles brass hope he can progress in the right direction, unlike previous draft picks.
Shareef Miller – Edge Defender
Drafted in Round 4, Pick 138
Impossible to grade Miller due to the fact that he barely played any snaps. Miller was buried underneath a depth chart full of other players trying to prove themselves. With the emergence of Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall; Miller will have to have a spectacular offseason to force his way into this rotation unless the Eagles have other plans.
Clayton Thorson – Quarterback
Drafted in Round 5, Pick 167
This may have been a true waste of a pick due to the fact that the Chargers drafted Easton Stick right before the Eagles. Clayton Thorson had a terrible preseason which led to his exit from the team. Thorson now occupies a practice squad spot in the enemy camp located in Arlington, Texas.
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