Philadelphia Eagles: Week 7 Rookie Report vs Washington

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagle’s rookies were front and center in the team’s Week 7 win over Washington. Here’s a breakdown of each player’s contribution in the rookie report.

One of the major keys to building a football dynasty is getting consistent contributions from each year’s draft class. With constant turnover the norm on every NFL roster, replacing aging veterans with young talent can be the difference between a limited run of success and a constant contributor, and it looks like the Philadelphia Eagles have amassed a promising collection of rookies this season.

And after struggling mightily to get consistent contributions from draft picks in the post-Andy Reid-era, it looks like the Eagles’ front office, led by Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman, has finally started to draft well after losing his position to former head coach Chip Kelly in 2015.

With nine first-year players currently on the Eagles active roster, here’s how each player performed in the Eagles week 7 Monday Night Football victory over the Washington Redskins.

After having a fairly pedestrian start to the season from a statistical perspective, Derek Barnett came alive against the Redskins.

While lined up against five-time Pro Bowler left tackle Trent Williams for the majority of the game, the former Tennessee Volunteer utilized his impressive speed, power and bend to finish the game with two sacks and three tackles, the first multiple sack game of his career,and the first by any Eagles rookie since Trent Cole did it in 2005.

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Barnett now has 2.5 sacks on the season, currently 5th among rookies behind T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Carl Lawson and Deatrich Wise.

As Barnett continues to progress over the forthcoming weeks, he will only solidify his role in Jim Schwartz‘s defensive end rotation, and continue to establish himself as one of the team’s best young defenders.

Sidney Jones is still on injured reserve but has the potential to begin practicing again over the next six weeks. If, over the next 21 days, the team believes that he’s healthy enough to join the active roster he can be activated from the IR, but If not, we won’t see the young former Washington Huskies until next summer.

Rasul Douglas turned in another promising game in his first appearance on Monday Night Football.

Douglas again added an aggressiveness to the outside cornerback position that insured that any ball thrown his way was far from a guaranteed completion. Though he didn’t pull in another interception like he did against the Panthers the previous Thursday, he did finish the game with a tackle as the team’s nickel corner.

Related Story: Is Rasul Douglas the Philadelphia Eagles’ next great safety?

With Ronald Darby expected to return to practice next week, it will be interesting to see how Douglas’ playing time will be affected. Douglas has played better than many expected when he was thrust into action in-game one, so hopefully, the team can still find creative ways to get the former Mountaineer on the field.

Mack Hollins has been an incredibly consistent contributor on the Eagles special teams unit so far this season, but against the Redskins, he made his first highlight reel catch in midnight green.

While spelling Alshon Jeffery on the outside, the former North Carolina Tar Heel haled in a perfectly thrown ball from Carson Wentz for a 64-yard touchdown, his first as an Eagles.

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In college, Hollins established himself as one of the nation’s premier deep threats, lleading the nation in yards per catch as a junior with 24.8 and dominating the 50-50 balls with his 6-foot-4 frame.

If Torrey Smith continues to struggle on the outside, don’t be surprised if Hollins starts to see an uptick in his offensive snaps.

Donnel Pumphrey is on IR and did not play.

Even though Jake Elliott isn’t technically an Eagles draft pick, the team did manage to steal the young kicker, who was selected in the fifth round, off of the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.

While Elliott has the potential to be one of the best kickers in Eagles history, Week 7 was not Elliott’s best game in midnight green. The former Memphis Tiger missed his field goal since Week 3 on his third attempt of the evening, prematurely breaking his streak of over 10 consecutive kicks without a miss.

Related Story: Jake Elliot is playing so well that the NFL thinks he’s on drugs

But even with the miss, Elliott finished the game with 10 points, the most of any player on the team, in a march towards the all-time rookie scoring record, which is not bad for a player who wasn’t even on an active roster Week 1.

Much like the previous six games, Shelton Gibson was inactive for the Eagles week 7 game against the Redskins, a trend that will likely continue.

After being a surprise training camp cut, Nathan Gerry spent the first six weeks of the season on the Eagles practice squad before being called up to replace special teams ace Chris Maragos. While Gerry didn’t record a single snap on defense, the former Nebraska safety did dress for the game and play on coach Dave Fipp‘s elite special teams unit.

Related Story: Philadelphia Eagles: Chris Maragos to IR, Nate Gerry promoted to active roster

Going forward, the loss of Jordan Hicks to an Achilles’ injury will definitely open up playing time at the middle linebacker position, but it’s unlikely that Gerry will be the beneficiary of any of these available snaps. Gerry’s potential is directly linked to his ability to cover opposing tight ends in sub packages, the role currently filled by weakside linebacker Nigel Bradham. Barring injury, this season will more than likely serve as a redshirt year for Gerry, while he gets acclimated to his new position.

After playing in four of the team’s first six games, Elijah Qualls was inactive for the Eagles Week 7 game. Though the former Washington Husky has looked promising in limited action, the return of Destiny Vaeao relegated him to the inactive list, a trend that should continue baring another injury.

Glassboro, New Jersey’s favorite son Corey Clement continued to perform well in limited opportunities on offense.

Even though the former Wisconsin Badger ran the ball only once for six yards, his biggest contribution to the game actually came as a receiver out of the backfield.

While in the red zone, Clement broke off an impromptu wheel route while Wentz scrambled under pressure, and caught an absolute dime in the end zone for his first touchdown as an Eagle.

Originally the team’s fifth-string running back, Clement has continued to make the most of each and every opportunity he’s received on the offensive side of the ball and has shown that he can be a serious contributor for this team going forward.

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Not bad for a player who didn’t even get drafted.