The Philadelphia Eagles have a number of young players looking to have an impact on the team’s success. Some brilliant drafting and talent evaluation from Howie Roseman and the Birds have meant that this roster is loaded with players under 25 years old who are primed to become key components in this team’s short and long-term success.
In this series, I’ll be breaking down the top-5 Eagles players under 25 years old.
Top 5 Eagles under 25: Reed Blankenship
Coming in at the 5th spot in my rankings is second-year safety, Reed Blankenship. Reed was one of the most surprising players on the roster last year, going from a little-known undrafted free agent to a starter by the middle of the season when C.J. Gardner-Johnson went down with an injury.
He appeared in 10 games in his rookie season, starting 4 of them, while also appearing in every playoff game. Reed Blankenship battled his way to a roster spot, and once allowed to play in real game action, he never turned back.
Statistically, Blankenship’s numbers are not going to blow anybody away. He recorded 1 interception, 2 passes defended, and 34 total tackles in 2022. However, he was very impactful outside of the box score.
He is a player who is not an overwhelming athlete so he relies heavily on his IQ and football awareness. Even as a rookie, it always seemed like Blankenship was in the right place at the right time. As he gets more in-game reps, he’ll get better at reading opposing offenses, which should lead to a bigger statical output as well.
So far in 2023’s training camp, Blankenship has been seen almost exclusively playing with the first-team defense in practice. With the exodus of Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps, the Eagles have given Blankenship a chance to prove himself as an impactful NFL player.
On the team’s official depth chart, he’s listed as one of the starting safeties, with the combo of Terrell Edmunds and K’Von Wallace fighting for the other spot. After going undrafted in 2022, the 24-year-old safety has gone against the odds and carved out a spot on an NFL roster. The Eagles’ safety group is not as experienced as it was last year, and the team is relying on improvement from Blankenship to replace what they lost. Whether it’s fair or not to put this much pressure on him, he has proved to handle himself in the face of adversity to this point in his career.
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