Following an obvious snub, Pro Football Football Focus gives two Eagles stars some love

  • PFF recently released 'The 50 best players in the NFL right now'.
  • Darius Slay and Jalen Hurts were noticeably absent.
  • PFF responded following the snub to give both 'honorable mentions'.

Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles
Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

A lot has happened recently. If you feel like your head is spinning (but in a good way), you're not alone. One minute, we're discussing Madden NFL 24 ratings. The next thing you know, another Philadelphia Eagles training camp has our attention. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Nothing gets people talking like professional football. Few platforms move the needle like our buddies over at Pro Football Focus.

Recently, Sam Monson dropped his list of 'The 50 best players in the NFL right now'. Three Eagles made the list: Lane Johnson (15th), A.J. Brown (25th), and Jason Kelce (46th). Jalen Hurts failed to make the cut. Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay also failed to earn a mention.

As you might imagine that caught the eye of a few Birds enthusiasts (us included). A day later, Monson gave us a makeup date, and Hurts and Slay were given some shine.

If the Eagles are to make another run in 2023, Jalen Hurts and Darius Slay will have to again be at the top of their games.

There's no denying the fact that, if the Eagles are to accomplish their ultimate goal, getting back to football's biggest game and winning it, they'll need supreme efforts from Big Play Slay and Jalen Hurts. If what we've seen from both is any indication of how they'll perform as we move forward through the coming season, there's a lot to look forward to in Eagles Nation.

Here's some of Monson's recent take on QB1:

"Based on last season’s performance alone, Hurts belongs on this list... When projecting ahead, we have to ask whether Hurts has truly arrived at an MVP candidate level of play or if he simply hit those heights last season. If he backs it up again, he vaults his way not just onto this list, but a long way up it.

Until then, he is going up against players with significantly better resumes, albeit not necessarily in the most recent games. We know enough about performance volatility to not just assume Hurts will pick up where he left off, and the same goes for players coming off relatively down years."

On Slay, he offered the following analysis:

"Halfway through the 2022 season, Slay was on track to back up his exceptional 2021 campaign with another and was on his way to appearing on this list. From Week 10 onward, however, he didn’t have a single PFF game grade above 72.7 and recorded six below-average performances including the playoffs.

Slay allowed five touchdowns all year, and four of them came in that second-half stretch and into the postseason. Overall, he still had an excellent year, finishing with a 77.3 PFF coverage grade, but that drop-off was enough to take him just outside of the top 50 players."

Monson is right. QB1 Jalen Hurts has climbed the ladder, but one great season does not a legend make. Don't get us wrong. We expect him to continue his rise as he hasn't reached his ceiling yet. You should be resting easy as BIrds fans though. You no doubt have your franchise signal-caller.

Slay, if we're being honest, didn't end the most recent NFL season in the same impressive fashion that his campaign began, but can you argue him off the list of the top ten corners in the game? You can't, can you? At some point, age catches up with everyone, and that includes NFL stars, but CB1 has, at minimum, two or three great seasons left in him.

Slay and Hurts were both captains in 2022. They have a nice shot of being captains again in 2023. They're both solid leaders and yes among the 50 best players in football now.

Just in case you're curious, six QBs landed on the original PFF top 50 players ranking: Patrick Mahomes (1), Joe Burrow (10), Josh Allen (12), Justin Herbert (35), Lamar Jackson (41), and Aaron Rodgers (45). Four cornerbacks earned a mention: Sauce Gardner (18), Patrick Surtain II (21), Jalen Ramsey (23), Jaire Alexander (28),

We can toss arguments back and forth about where Hurts and Slay rank versus those guys. Both are better than 'honorable mentions'. Expect some great play and highlight-reel moments from both.

Check out these other Eagles stories as well.