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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

New birds in the nest

Jalen+Hurts+is+entering+his+second+season+as+the+starting+quarterback+for+the+Eagles.%0APHOTOS%3A+MITCHELL+SHIELDS+%E2%80%9922%2FTHE+HAWK
Jalen Hurts is entering his second season as the starting quarterback for the Eagles. PHOTOS: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

The Eagles have transitioned into yet another era of rebuilding. They cleaned house by firing Doug Pederson and trading Carson Wentz. Heading into this season, the national media have not been very optimistic about the Eagles. With a newer and younger team in the works, the 2021 season for Philadelphia’s premier football team is quickly approaching. Let’s take a look.

Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has officially been named the Eagles starter for the 2021 season. Although this announcement comes as no surprise, there seemed to be hesitation in the front office on how soon they should anoint Hurts as the starting quarterback.

Eagles wide receiver (WR) rankings are a hot topic heading into this season. 2020 Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith has had quite the preseason, making him the clear top WR on the Eagles. 

I fully trust that he will have a strong rookie season. He displayed his impressive route running and quick hands against the Patriots in Week 2 of the preseason, and Smith’s footwork is going to strike fear into the eyes of opposing defenses this season. On Aug. 31, the Eagles released Travis Fulgham, meaning J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will remain on the 53-man roster. Do I agree with this move? No, but I can only  hope Howie Roseman  will build up a WR room that has been long depleted. 

I am also interested to see Jalen Reagor in year two after a lackluster rookie year. After his failed physical test to begin workouts, the second year WR out of Texas Christian University showed why he was selected in the first round, displaying highlight catches all preseason long.

I am excited about the running backs, especially because of Miles Sanders. Sanders has caught my eye since he played at Pennsylvania State University and we can only hope he becomes more versatile this upcoming year. Sanders hasn’t seen much action on the field this preseason but, assuming he stays healthy, I have full confidence he can be a top five running back in the NFL.

Safety Elijah Riley and defensive end JaQuan Bailey celebrate an interception.

The fear in my stomach is finally gone after hearing that tight end Zach Ertz say Philadelphia is “the place where I want to retire.” Ertz officially ended all rumors of leaving The Eagles on Sept. 1 and the burden is off of fans’ shoulders knowing that the star tight end will be on our side for years to come.

This year, I believe the Eagles breakout player will be left tackle Jordan Mailata. Mailata, a former rugby player, has been mentored by one of the best to ever play the game in Jason Peters, and I think he is ready to take on the challenge of filling Peters’ shoes. I have confidence that Mailata is going to protect Hurts, giving him time to move out of the pocket and throw down field. 

The Birds have been building the chemistry that they so desperately need to gain momentum throughout the season. A run to the playoffs could be in the cards, but it will take much further progression from some of the younger skill players on offense and in the secondary.  It is much easier to see a year full of tough love and growth for the young Eagles team. Although the record is initially disappointing to think about, Eagles fans need to remember that the team is inexperienced, unfamiliar and just getting ready for years of contention. My final prediction for the 2021 Eagles season is 7-10, as I believe such a young team with a lot to sort out would be fortunate, and bask in the glory of seven wins.

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