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Handing out Eagles awards after the 2021 season


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Handing out Eagles awards after the 2021 season


The Eagles ended up having a pretty successful 2021 season. While it ended in disappointment with the loss to the Bucs in the wild card round, they still turned in a 9-8 record and a playoff berth.

Not too shabby for Nick Sirianni’s first year at the helm.

For the next several months, we’ll be getting ready for free agency and the draft, but let’s take one last look back at the 2021 season and hand out some Eagles-only awards:

MVP: Jason Kelce

It might seem strange to make a center the Eagles’ MVP but this seems pretty obvious to me. The Eagles turned their season around behind the strength of their offensive line and Kelce is the rock of that line. The Eagles used nine starting OL combinations this season and the only constant was Kelce right in the middle. He’s 34 now but hasn’t lost a step and was named an All-Pro again, just another honor for his Hall of Fame career. Really, you could argue that the OL in general was the MVP of the season but if we’re giving it to one guy, it’s Kelce by far.

Runner up: Jalen Hurts

Offensive Player of the Year: Dallas Goedert

The Eagles came into this season with two No. 1 tight ends in Goedert and Zach Ertz. But once Ertz was traded to Arizona, Goedert showed why he’s a true TE1 and was one of the best in the NFL from that point on. Goedert played 11 games after the Ertz trade and averaged 4.3 catches for 64.2 yards per game. That’s a pace of 73/1,091 for a full 17-game season. And once you factor in what Goedert means as a blocker, he’s easily one of the Eagles best players.

Runner up: Lane Johnson

Defensive Player of the Year: Darius Slay

It’s a crime that Slay played as well as he did in 2021 and received just one All-Pro vote. At least he became the first Eagles cornerback since Asante Samuel to make the Pro Bowl. He deserves that much. Slay finished with 3 interceptions, 9 PBUs and three total touchdowns. And he locked down some top receivers all year. He had eight picks with the Lions back in 2017 but this season was right up there among the best Slay has ever had.

Runner up: Javon Hargrave

Special Teams Player of the Year: Shaun Bradley

The Eagles’ second-year linebacker didn’t play much on defense in 2021 but he became a huge special teams contributor and a Pro Bowl alternate. Bradley had 11 special teams tackles this season; the next closest player was Alex Singleton with 7.

Runner up: Zech McPhearson

Comeback Player of the Year: Jake Elliott

There were a few options for this award but we’ll give it to the steady kicker. Elliott had an awful season in 2020, making a career-low 73.7% of his field goal attempts. His contract likely saved his job, but he earned his money in 2021. Elliott this season made 30 of 33 field goals for a career high 90.9% and one of those misses was a block. He was also 3-for-3 for 50+. And, including one in the playoff game, Elliott was a perfect 45/45 on extra points.

Runner up: Jordan Howard

Rookie of the Year: DeVonta Smith

This one wasn’t as easy as you might have expected. Because once Landon Dickerson ended up at left guard, he played extremely well and was an absolute monster in the playoff game. But Smith still gets the nod. He had 64 catches, 916 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie in an offense that ended up being very run-heavy in the second half. He showed star potential in Year 1.

Runner up: Landon Dickerson

Assistant Coach of the Year: Jeff Stoutland

OK, this one is a no-brainer. The Eagles transformed their offense and their offensive line coach and run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland helped them do it. He’s an all-time great Eagles coach.

Runner up: Jason Michael

Biggest Pleasant Surprise: T.J. Edwards

This one was a tossup between Edwards and Watkins but I’ll give the nod to the third-year linebacker who gave the Eagles some much-needed stability and physicality on that side of the ball. Maybe Edwards’ has a relatively low ceiling, maybe he isn’t a freak athlete, but he was just so solid in 2021 after getting put back into the starting lineup.

Runner up: Quez Watkins

Biggest Disappointment: Jalen Reagor

It almost feels like piling on at this point, but there’s no way around this award. The 2020 first-round pick had a disappointing rookie season last year and actually regressed this year. He struggled as a receiver, runner and returner. There were still a few glimpses here and there but they were wayyy too few and far between.

Runner up: Eric Wilson


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