First off, happy holidays to everyone. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope everyone was able to enjoy a few days off with friends and family.
Unfortunately, the news for several Eagles rookies over the weekend was not good. Foles broke his hand and Cox/Kendricks were both concussed against the Redskins. I don’t expect any of them to play in the final game (Foles is definitely out, still waiting for info on Cox/Kendricks, but why play them?).
Therefore, I thought a quick note reflecting on each of their performances this year was in order:
Nick Foles – Foles is garnering a lot of attention, and for good reason. Here are Foles’ final numbers for this year:
60.8% Completion percentage
1,699 yards passing, 6 TD/5 INTs
79.1 QB Rating.
Rushed 11 times, picking up 5 first downs.
Overall, I think there is plenty of reason to be excited about Foles and do not understand the detractors. I believe a large part of the negative analysis is the performances being made by the Luck/Griffin/Wilson combo, to which Foles does not compare. However, in general, Foles performed very well for a rookie, especially given the circumstances surrounding the team. (See the post from last week showing the rookie performances of some other current NFL QBs.)
His accuracy, pocket awareness, work ethic (anecdotally), and poise all appear to be strong. His only big weakness thus far has been the deep ball accuracy and perhaps a reluctance to throw into tight windows (tough to grade him down on that.)
Though there is still one game to review (full Rewind will be posted tomorrow or Friday), I’ve seen more than enough to feel comfortable with Foles heading into next year. There is no QB in the draft worth the #3-#4 pick, and there is little sense in bringing in a mediocre veteran, so the best use off assets for the Eagles is to commit to Foles for next year, rebuild the rest of the team, and see where that gets them.
Behind a strong OL (a possibility for next year) and with McCoy/Brown (if the team doesn’t ignore him), Foles has a chance to be a very productive QB.
Cox – As most readers can probably tell, I am very excited about Cox. It’s rare to find a DT with the pass-rushing skills this kid has, and he plays with energy every play. He’s got some work to do against the run, but the talent is there and he has the potential to be a real force for the Eagles for a long time. A lot will depend on the next coaching regime, but if he’s allowed to attack and put with the right players (perhaps a gap-filling NT….Lotulelei?), he’s gonna wreak havoc on opposing QBs.
Kendricks – Kendricks will probably end up as one of the bigger disappointments of the season. He started the year with a few strong performances, and it looked like Eagles had found a playmaker at LB. However, his play tailed off as the season progressed. He did rebound in the past two weeks when he was switched back to the WILL spot, but overall a very inconsistent year. Still looks like he has the potential to be a good LB, but there are definitely some holes in his game that will need to be addressed (both tackling and reading.)
In total though, this Eagles rookie class looks stronger than any they’ve had in while. I’ll add some more color once I review the Redskins game, but fans should be encouraged by the overall play of the rookies (we’ll do a full rookie breakdown after the season), especially in comparison to other recent draft classes.