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Philadelphia Eagles roster: Hidden gems to watch in 2021


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Philadelphia Eagles roster: Hidden gems to watch in 2021

by Geoffrey Knox  21 hours ago


The Philadelphia Eagles most certainly house some hidden gems on their roster.

Training camp approaches in 2021 for the Philadelphia Eagles, and though the national audience doesn’t seem to be drinking any of this team’s I need to find a new cliche, the coaches and players don’t appear to believe that they can’t win during the coming regular season. There’s a mini-buzz growing in the Eagles organization.

Part of the reason for that is the fact that a new but heavily criticized head coach has started to win some of the fans over that used to pick on him. Now, if this team stinks, that could change in a hurry, but you have to be impressed with Nick Sirianni’s enthusiasm and passion.

Sure, enthusiasm will only take you so far. Coaches need players, but what’s been lost in quarterback departures, team drama, questions about why Howie Roseman is still associated with this franchise, and the G.M.s inability to draft well or manage the cap is the fact that this team has some guys.

They drafted a stud in Round 1 of the most recent selection meeting. They made some roster moves that haven’t quite gotten the buzz that they deserved. There are also some hidden gems on the roster. Here’s a look at two rookies and a second-year man that could really make major strides and contribute mightily to this team’s success in 2021.

TARRON JACKSON  https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.fansided.com%2Flogos%2Fnfl%2Feagles.png

Philadelphia Eagles

Tarron Jackson has a chance to be one of the stars of this Philadelphia Eagles D-line.

Times have changed. Cable television got really popular for some of you older Philadelphia Eagles fans during your adolescence, so seeing Birds fans who live in other parts of the country and outside of the Delaware Valley seems strange. That’s the world we live in now. Citizens of Washington D.C. self-identify as Dallas Cowboys fans, and the last time the Birds traveled to L.A. to meet the Chargers, that soccer stadium they were playing in was full of midnight green jerseys.

Eagles Nation truly stretches into each of the 50 states, but it’s hard to pay attention to everything. No one would blame you if Penn State football or everything the Temple Owls were doing distracted you, and you missed what was going on in Conway, South Carolina. For some of you, there was no reason to mention the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers until Philly made Tarron Jackson the 191st-overall selection in Round 6 of the most recent draft.

Without putting too much pressure on the young man, here’s a bold statement. This has a chance to be one of those Jordan Mailata-esque additions, the late-rounder that comes in and makes a name for himself.

If that wasn’t bold enough for you, here’s another more bold theory. Tarron Jackson, if coached properly (that’s normally been an issue in Philly), has a shot at developing into everything that we were told Derek Barnett would become. This young man is going to be good. Had he played in the SEC, we’d be mentioning him as a first or second-rounder.


K'VON WALLACE, SAFETY  https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.fansided.com%2Flogos%2Fnfl%2Feagles.png

K'Von Wallace #42, Philadelphia Eagles

Don’t forget about K’Von Wallace if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

The theory was, when the Philadelphia Eagles took K’Von Wallace 127th-overall in Round 4 of the 2020 NFL Draft, that this young man sat on a thin line that separated an argument that they reached from another that said, they may have struck gold with one of the more underrated prospects of that year’s draft class.

One full calendar has come and gone since those arguments began, and no one seems to have any definite answers on which answer is correct. Wallace appeared in 15 games with three starts as a rook and notched 21 tackles and a fumble recovery that he jumped on while playing on special teams.

Heading into year two, we’ve done everything from asking ourselves if his selection was a mistake to blaming Jim Schwartz for the misuse of everyone that played on this team’s defense. Now, with Jonathan Gannon running things on that side of the ball, the hope is we’ll see some of that versatility that made Wallace a star with the Clemson Tigers.

He can help at the line in run support. He can play deep. He can play a little slot cornerback if need be, Don’t give up on K’Von Wallace yet. You might see a major leap by this young man in 2021 during his second season.


KENNETH GAINWELL, RUNNING BACK  https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.fansided.com%2Flogos%2Fnfl%2Feagles.png

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles found a stud in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

These days, the likelihood of finding a stud running back later in the draft than you’d expect or deep into the offseason while fishing in the free-agency pool is extremely likely. Keep in mind the fact that the Tennessee Titans didn’t take the game’s best running back, Derrick Henry until Round 2 in 2016 (and he was the fourth player that they took overall).

From the Philadelphia Eagles perspective try and look at it this way. LeGarrette Blount was one of the heroes of their 2017-2018 Super Bowl run, and Philly didn’t pick him up until May 17th of 2017. The first few rushes of the free agency frenzy and that year’s NFL Draft were already over. Then, they got another of their better running backs and key contributors, Jay Ajayi, at the trade deadline.

More often than not, teams just aren’t willing to invest tons of dollars in veterans at the position or use high draft picks on rookies. More and more often, teams are finding guys later in the draft than you’d expect to.

Enter Kenneth Gainwell, a five-foot-nine, 200-pound 2019 First-team All-AAC nod that tallied 1,550 rushing yards on 231 rushes in 2020 (he notched an astounding 22.8 yards-per-rush average and a touchdown in 2019 on four carries). Add that to the 610 receiving yards and three additional scores he racked up in 2020 on 51 receptions, and you can see why guys are rightfully excited about his potential.

The Philadelphia Eagles have finally found that compliment for Miles Sanders that they’ve been looking for. This young man was a steal in Round 5.


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