3 Eagles players with the most to prove in 2024

Jalen Hurts, Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts, Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles / Aubrey Lao/GettyImages

As a team, the Philadelphia Eagles have a lot to prove during the 2024 NFL season after the underwhelming finish to their 2023 campaign. There are also several players on the team who have plenty to prove individually. Here's a look at the top three.

Cam Jurgens, Center

No one will ever replace the recently retired Jason Kelce in the hearts and minds of Eagles fans, but someone will physically have to replace him on Philadelphia's offensive line, and that task will likely fall to Cam Jurgens, who will have to prove that he's a worthy successor.

Jurgens is entering his third season as a member of the Eagles, and he will likely have a much larger role than he has in the past. Jurgens played just three percent of available offensive snaps as a rookie. That number jumped up to 89 percent last season, as he started 11 games on the line for Philly in '23. That experience should help in making the full-time shift to center moving forward.

Saquon Barkley, Running back

Saquon Barkley has a lot to prove on his new team. After eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons in the league, Barkley has failed to reach that number in three of the four seasons since. He's also dealt with some injury issues over the course of his career.

Nonetheless, the Eagles signed Barkley to a hefty deal in free agency, hoping that he'll be the key to unlocking the offense. At 27 years old, Barkley has to prove that he can still be an elite lead back in the league, and that he's worthy of the contract that the Eagles gave him.

Jalen Hurts, Quarterback

Jalen Hurts wasn't bad last season. Let's get that out of the way. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The guy threw for 3,858 yards and 23 touchdowns -- both career-highs. He also added 605 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, an NFL record for rushing TDs by a quarterback in a single season. Hurts led the Philadelphia Eagles to the playoffs for the third straight season and was named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive time.

Again, those aren't the stats of a player who played poorly. But, while Hurts was objectively solid in 2023, he didn't necessarily take the step forward that many were hoping he would after a dynamic campaign in 2022 that saw him finish second in MVP voting. Some even felt that his play stagnated, or even regressed slightly.

While that's debatable, the eye test did show that Hurts didn't look quite as comfortable out on the field as he did the previous seasons. There could be several reasons for that, including a nagging knee injury, or the team's offensive approach under Brian Johnson. Whatever the contributing factors were, there's no reason to dwell on them. Instead, let's look forward.

Another stellar season from Hurts -- like the one he had in 2022 -- should silence any remaining skeptics and prove that he's indeed worth the massive contract that the organization gave him last year.