Three bold predictions for Eagles in 2021: DeVonta Smith has greatest rookie year for WR in franchise history

The Philadelphia Eagles are one of many greatest unknowns within the NFL heading into the 2021 season. Philadelphia has a first-year head coach in Nick Sirianni, and is popping over a revamped offense to 2020 second-round decide Jalen Hurts. The Eagles have sturdy offensive and defensive strains which might be anticipated to hold the staff, a very good indicator that the roster has a chance to compete in a weak NFC East. 

Philadelphia’s protection has had a superb camp up to now, turning into a unit that seems to be able to carrying an offense that has struggled to seek out its footing. There’s expertise on the Eagles’ offense, however the items have but to return collectively. Thankfully, the Eagles nonetheless have 5 weeks to determine issues out previous to their season opener in opposition to the Atlanta Falcons.

Because the season attracts close to, the Eagles look to compete for his or her fourth playoff berth in 5 years as a shock contender for the NFC East crown. Dwelling as much as these three daring predictions will go a good distance towards Philadelphia undertaking that job. 

DeVonta Smith turns into first Eagles rookie with 1,000 receiving yards

DeSean Jackson, who holds the Eagles franchise document for receiving yards in a rookie season with 912, is without doubt one of the few rookie vast receivers to start out Week 1 of his first season and make a right away affect. Smith may have that very same impact on an Eagles offense that badly wants him. 

Smith is the No. 1 wideout in a subpar receiving corps. Hurts goes to seek out his former teammate at Alabama to get the passing sport going. Zach Ertz is the second-best receiver on this staff — and the Eagles are asking rather a lot from Jalen Reagor and Travis Fulgham to contribute constantly. If Reagor and Fulgham can have spurts of success, that may unlock Smith to make huge performs and ignite a passing sport that desperately wants a spark. 

No matter whether or not Hurts is constant on the intermediate routes, his deep ball goes to seek out Smith when Philadelphia opens up the passing sport. A 17-game season additionally favors Smith, as he solely must common 58.8 yards per sport to hit the 1,000-yard mark. 

Count on Smith to get 1,000 yards in an offense that wants him to supply instantly. 

Jalen Hurts has 30 mixed touchdowns

This prediction might utterly blow up if the Eagles traded for Deshaun Watson, however Hurts is the QB1 of this staff — even when Nick Sirianni will not title him as because the starter but. Hurts will not have the perfect completion share, however he’ll produce in an offense that’s going to want his legs to maneuver the chains. 

Philadelphia goes to tailor the offense to Hurts’ strengths, which implies the quarterback will roll outdoors the pocket to seek out an open receiver and have the choice to make use of his legs and prolong the play. The Eagles want a pink zone menace as nicely, which provides Hurts the flexibility to attain touchdowns on the bottom. 

Hurts throwing 20 to 25 landing passes in a pass-happy NFL and working for an additional 5 to 10 TDs is not far fetched, particularly for the reason that league is trending towards working quarterbacks. Hurts had 10 whole touchdowns in his 4 begins final season, averaging 2.5 touchdowns per sport. In a 17-game season, that is 42 touchdowns at that tempo.

Hurts will not get that many in his first full season as a starter, however 30 is greater than reachable.  

Philadelphia leads the NFL in sacks

The Eagles completed third within the NFL with 49 sacks final 12 months, which is clearly the power of the protection. The unit has improved this offseason with the signing of Ryan Kerrigan — an addition to a move rush that already possesses Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett at defensive finish. Let’s not neglect Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave at defensive sort out. 

This is why the Eagles can lead the league in sacks. Sweat has had the perfect camp of anybody on the roster and will begin over Barnett reverse Graham — who had certainly one of his finest seasons final 12 months at 32. Barnett will likely be environment friendly as a 3rd down move rusher behind Sweat or within the rotation and Kerrigan will play the Anthony Barr-type function as an additional move rusher in Jonathan Gannon’s protection. Philadelphia has six move rushers that may constantly get to the quarterback. 

The Eagles’ protection has been wonderful all through camp, particularly the move rush as they’re constantly attending to the quarterback. Whereas Philadelphia’s offensive line is banged up in camp, the line of defense is utilizing a number of fronts, blitzing extra, and has depth on the ends and at sort out. Third-round decide Milton Williams has had a formidable camp and the Eagles are lining him up at finish and sort out, including much more depth to the move rush. 

Reaching 50 sacks is greater than attainable with this protection that focuses on attacking the quarterback. The Eagles linebackers and secondary are higher too, giving the road extra time to get to the passer. An aggressive protection that blitzes extra steadily may have the stress and see its sacks whole improve. | Three daring predictions for Eagles in 2021: DeVonta Smith has biggest rookie 12 months for WR in franchise historical past


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