With the big guns out of the way, it’s now time to focus on the next generation of Eagle. Could the Birds have multiple candidates for Rookie of the Year’ honors on their team heading into this season?
Offensive Rookie of the Year
The obvious choice here is the Eagles’ first-round pick. None of the other offensive choices will have the chance to make as much of an immediate impact as Reagor will. That’s, of course, assuming Hurts never gets to play extended snaps.
Why he can win
PSN’s lord Liam Jenkins broke down Reagor’s chances at breaking Eagles offensive records here.
Coming into an offense where the Eagles severely lacked the kind of production Reagor can bring, the former TCU standout could be set up for success early on. If the Eagles continue to suffer from injuries at the wide receiver position, Reagor could get even more opportunities to be “the guy”.
He may not surpass Sanders’ rookie records of yards from scrimmage and all-purpose yards, but Reagor’s ability to return punts and get the ball on sweeps could give him a DeSean Jackson-type of rookie year where we see close to 1,500 all-purpose yards. Seeing that kind of impact on a team that was so desperate for it could prove to voters that he was the most impactful rookie.
Why he can’t win
While the award hasn’t been as quarterback-centric as MVP has been, it hasn’t been kind to wide receivers.
Since 2000, only three wide receivers have won the award: Anquan Boldin, Percy Harvin, and Odell Beckham Jr. There have been nine running backs and eight quarterbacks that have taken home the award.
As with the Sanders’ reasoning for why he can’t win MVP, Reagor may see his opportunity dwindle as the likes of Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert look to keep the award for the quarterbacks.
Other wide receivers in the first round, Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, and CeeDee Lamb will also give him stiff competition for the award. On the running backs side, Clyde Edwards-Helaire looks to have the perfect situation in Kansas City.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
You might think to yourself “there’s no way the Eagles have a chance to win this,” but hear me out.
PFF’s top-rated safety in coverage since 2017 is on the Eagles roster. K’Von Wallace had five interceptions in his four years at Clemson, along with 156 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He can have an immediate impact on the Eagles defense.
Why he can win
He’ll first have to win the starting safety spot, which is presumably Jalen Mills’ to lose. Newcomer Will Parks will have some say in that spot as well, but he might be used more as a Swiss army knife, as he was in Denver. His knack for finding the ball in the air and his supreme ability to play at the line of scrimmage may remind Jim Schwartz of Malcolm Jenkins, thus leading the rookie to the majority of snaps early on. If not at safety next to Rodney McLeod, then he could see himself at dime linebacker, slot corner, or even in McLeod’s spot if the veteran has to miss some time.
He’s missed only 13 tackles in his entire collegiate career and has the ability to line up all over the field. With the Eagles’ defensive scheme, Wallace may find himself with a lot of the responsibilities that Jenkins had in his Eagles tenure. With those responsibilities plus Wallace’s ability to line up with just about any receiver or tight end, he could make a strong case for the award. If he has an 80+ tackle, 2+ INT, 3+ sack season, voters will have to give him consideration.
Why he can’t win
You could look at “why he can” and give the exact opposite reasoning for the first paragraph. He might be a long shot to win the starting safety spot and/or the dime linebacker role right out of the gates. With Mills and Parks there, Schwartz may not rely on the rookie too often.
The award has also been heavily given to linebackers and defensive linemen over the years. Since 2000 only two DBs have won the award, Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Peters. You have to go back all the way to 1990 to find a safety who won the award.
The heavy favorite for this award is Washington Football Team’s (lol) Chase Young. Outside of him, Lions CB Jeff Okudah, Cardinals do-it-all Isaiah Simmons, and Panthers DT Derrick Brown would all be vying for the award as well.
As much as I want to will this into existence, the chances are extremely slim.
But still fun to speculate!
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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