Following the Philadelphia Eagles‘ Week 12 win over the Green Bay Packers, Nick Sirianni handed out three game balls: one to Jalen Hurts. one to Quez Watkins, and one to rookie Reed Blankenship. Everyone knows who Jalen Hurts is. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate for crying out loud. Birds fans have gotten very familiar with Quez Watkins after Philly drafted him during Round 6 of 2020’s NFL Draft. We’re still getting to know the new guy, but maybe we should be discussing him more often.
Following his Sunday Night Football performance, one in which he picked off future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Aaron Rodgers in front of a national audience, Pro Football Focus gave him a coverage grade of 77.1. Only three of his teammates (T.J. Edwards, James Bradberry, and Darius Slay) rank higher. Yeah… It’s probably time to talk about the rookie because, quite frankly, it appears that we haven’t mentioned him enough.
Reed Blankenship continues to clear hurdles and silence the doubters.
An undrafted rookie, Blankenship needed every opportunity and a bone-wrenching tackle in the preseason finale to prove that he belongs on the Eagles roster. He was one of three undrafted players to make the team along with offensive lineman Josh Sills and cornerback Josh Jobe.
After being inactive for four straight weeks to begin the season (and six of the first seven contests), he played 40 special teams snaps from Week 9 to Week 11.
In Week 12, he was called upon following Chauncey Gardner-Johnson’s unfortunate rib injury. Let’s just say that the results were promising. He tied for the team lead in tackles with six stops. Three of those were of the solo variety, but the highlight of his performance (and the game) came during Green Bay’s fourth offensive series when he picked off a future Hall of Famer.
This one’s worth another look.
With that, Reed officially introduced himself to the entire NFL and its fans. It’s too early to make determinations about what he’ll become or how much he’ll accomplish, but two things are certain.
One, there’s no need to believe that he won’t continue to hurdle the obstacles, and, second, the Eagles have a potential star on their hands. He has the ability. He has a ton of talent. It’s up to the coaches now.
If they do their job, which we believe they will, Reed Blankenship can be a star. Something tells us that he’ll be fine. Defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson is a star in his own right and possibly on the road to being a head coach one day. He has that type of talent. These two are going to make a good team.