Eagles’ Rookies shine bright in preseason debut

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 07: Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jordan Davis (90) looks on during training camp on August 7, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles’ 2021 Draft Class made a lot of impactful plays in their first season showing that the Eagles’ front office restructure was working.

The Eagles’ 2022 class made the front office look like a well-oiled machine on Friday night. Following Philadelphia’s 24-21 loss to the Jets, there were far more positives than negatives.

A massive positive was how good the rookie class looked. None of the top picks looked to try and do too much, but played within the scheme of their group, and ended up shining regardless.

Let’s go player by player on what was a tremendous start to the 2022 season.

Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis didn’t record a tackle in Friday’s contest, but his impact was immeasurable. On numerous occasions, Davis was double-teamed and it allowed the Eagles linebackers behind him to flow and run through plays.

It was a very encouraging sign. Davis also flashed his relentless motor. After breaking up a double team, Davis chased down Zach Wilson as fast as he could to get back in the play.

It’s small and not important in terms of in-game impact, but it shows the character of the first-round pick, and just how high his ceiling could be with the Eagles.

The sacks and run-stuff will come, but it’s clear Davis is going to be a great player.

Cam Jurgens

Was that Jason Kelce out there Friday or the Eagle’s second-round rookie? Cam Jurgens was solid on Friday and even flashed the athleticism that had people making the comparison very quickly.

There weren’t any bad snaps, questionable blocking, or confusion. It looked like the Eagles didn’t miss a beat at all. With Jason Kelce sidelines for the foreseeable future, in years past, it would have concerned fans that the Eagles offensive line would struggle without him.

I don’t think that will be the case anymore. Jurgens looked really good on Friday against a good Jets front seven.

Nakobe Dean

How about that for a linebacker’s debut in Philadelphia? Nakobe Dean was all over the field for the Eagles in minimal action Friday night. In one series alone, Dean tallied five total tackles and four solo ones. Dean’s motor, like Davis, is relentless, and Eagles’ fans already got to see what a Davis/Dean pairing does for a defense.

Sometimes a no-brainer pick in the third round works out. The Eagles debated between Jurgens and Dean in the second round and were ecstatic when Dean fell to the third round.

That’s the mistake of other general managers. Dean looked fantastic in his Eagles debut, and it doesn’t look like injury concerns will hold him back.

Undrafted Players Stand Out for the Eagles

Reed Blankenship and Josh Jobe weren’t drafted by the Eagles in 2022 but as part of a large undrafted free agent class, both players stood out Friday. Blankenship lead the team in tackles with eight last night, and Jobe ran with the second team as well.

Josh Jobe being on the second team is significant because he was ahead of Tay Gowan and other young corners on the roster. Jobe was beat a couple of times but was always there to secure the tackle as well.

Blankenship, like he was at Middle Tennessee State, was all over the field and is a sure-tackler. It was a solid day for even the undrafted rookies.

The first preseason game isn’t a time to start saying that rookies are going to have great years. It’s never that simple. However, preseason games are there to see flashes of what could be.

And if Friday was any case, the Eagles 2022 draft class (including their undrafted crew) is as stacked a group as they come.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire