Nine weeks into the 2022 NFL season, it’s time to give an initial review of the Eagles’ rookies. Philadelphia ended the draft only making five picks (plus a trade for star receiver AJ Brown), making each selection mean just a little bit more. In this article, we’ll ignore UDFAs as only one has seen the field (Britain Covey at kick returner). With that, let’s not waste any more time–here is the midseason review of the Eagles’ rookies.
Reviewing the Eagles’ Rookies
Jordan Davis (DT), 13th Overall Pick
Davis came to Philadelphia with a historic combination of size and athleticism, traits which had Eagles’ fans watering at the mouths. However, he had two key concerns coming out of college: stamina and pass rush ability. With the Eagles’ tendencies to rotate defensive linemen, Davis was a perfect fit for the unit, being able to come in on big downs without having to be an every-down lineman. As for his ability to rush the passer, the verdict is still out.
However, that’s not what Davis was expected to bring to the table in Philly. Davis has primarily stood out in the run game, where he has consistently reset the line of scrimmage and halted inside runs. The nose tackle hasn’t done much to fill up the stat sheet–he is still without a sack or TFL–but his impact goes far beyond that. His presence was felt in week one at Detroit, where him being on the field decided whether or not a Lions’ run would be successful, and his absence against the Texans was felt even greater. He’s been a great addition to the Eagles’ defensive front and has blossomed into one of the league’s premier nose tackles.
Midseason Grade: A-
Cam Jurgens (C), 51st Overall Pick
Beef Jurgy has yet to really see the field in 2022, but that was always the plan. He has logged a few snaps in five games this season, looking serviceable in each, but his primary role has been serving as Jason Kelce’s backup while he develops into an NFL caliber center.
Jurgens has all the tools needed to succeed as a center in the NFL, including quick feet, a strong base, and the ability to block in space. He is very similar to Kelce, which makes sense as the long-time starter handpicked Jurgens to succeed him. So far, there’s not much to say about Jurgens–his time will come somewhere down the road.
Midseason Grade: B
Nakobe Dean (LB), 83rd Overall Pick
Perhaps one of the steals of the draft, the projected first round pick managed to slide all the way down the board to the Eagles’ third rounder. Dean was hyped up as a sideline-to-sideline linebacker with elite pass coverage ability. However, his role has been contained mostly to special teams as Kyzir White has assumed the starting linebacker role.
Dean’s lack of playing time may be concerning to some Eagles fans–how could a player receiving so much hype see the field so little? However, it truly isn’t that serious–the Eagles are likely taking an approach similar to that of Jurgens. White, who the Eagles signed from the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason, has been a high-quality starter for the birds. Alongside him, TJ Edwards has also been having a great season, leaving little room for Dean in the defensive lineup. Dean’s skillset speaks for itself–he’ll eventually be a great player in the league–but for now, the situation isn’t right for him to play.
Midseason Grade: C+
Kyron Johnson (LB), 181st Overall Pick
Like Dean, Johnson has been used primarily in a special teams role in 2022, where he has made seven tackles. Behind Haason Reddick and Patrick Johnson, there isn’t much of an opportunity for Kyron which, truth be told, was to be expected. Johnson’s draft stock rose due to a nice performance at the senior bowl, but the undersized EDGE is still a bit too raw to see any significant playing time. Only time may tell whether or not he sees any significant action in Philadelphia, but for now, he’s been decent enough as a special teamer.
Midseason Grade: C
Grant Calcaterra (TE), 198th Overall Pick
Calcaterra has seen little action in Philadelphia so far, sitting behind Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll on the depth chart. He made the most of his one catch of the year taking it for 40 yards, but other than that, there hasn’t been much to write home about. Calcaterra is an intriguing prospect who saw significant production in the passing game at Oklahoma and SMU, but doesn’t offer much blocking upside for an Eagles offense centered around the run game. Maybe he develops into a quality rotational piece for the future, but for now, he’s merely just a backup.
Midseason Grade: C-
So What’s the Verdict on These Eagles’ Rookies?
Outside of Davis, this class hasn’t really been asked to do too much, but as seen by the Eagles’ record, they haven’t really had to. Philadelphia holds one of the league’s best rosters right now, making it difficult for these guys to see the field. For guys like Jurgens, Dean, and even Johnson and Calcaterra, their main job is to learn the NFL game for a year or two before making the jump to the starting lineup. For now, they’re just developmental players which, for a team as successful as the Eagles have been, is a great thing to have. Overall, these Eagles’ rookies have made for a pretty solid class.
Overall Midseason Grade: B
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