Our weekly rookie report got off to a modest start in Week 1 with only three rookies active in the Eagles' 30-17 win over the Redskins Sunday.
First-round pick Derek Barnett, fourth-round wideout Mack Hollins and undrafted rookie running back Corey Clement were the only first-year players to dress at FedEx Field.
Here are a few highlights from their debuts:
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1st quarter, 15:00, Eagles 0, Redskins, 0
If you had Clement as the first rookie to make an impact play, you nailed it. Caleb Sturgis drove the opening kick to the 1-yard line, forcing Bashaud Breeland to make a return. Clement stayed in his lane and when Breeland tried to break the return to the left, Clement was there to greet him. He made a sure tackle and forced the Redskins to start at their own 16.
Clement was also in on a special teams tackle in the third quarter on ill-advised return by Breeland at the Washington 19. Clement seems pretty comfortable out there on the Eagles' kickoff unit.
1st quarter, 14:12, 3rd-and-11 at WAS 15, Eagles 0, Redskins, 0
Barnett got into the action early on and got a tough assignment. Barnett was lined up on the right side against perennial All-Pro Trent Williams. It was an interesting personnel grouping by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. With Barnett on the right, Chris Long was in at left end with Brandon Graham kicked in at tackle and Fletcher Cox at the other inside spot. The matchup went how you'd expect. Barnett tried an outside rush and Williams just ate him up, giving Kirk Cousins time to hit Terrelle Pryor for a 12-yard gain and a first down.
1st quarter, 12:49, 3rd-and 11 at WAS 26, Eagles 0, Redskins, 0
Pretty much the same scenario as the previous one for Barnett in the same personnel grouping. This time Barnett gets chipped by tight end Jordan Reed who was lined up in the backfield. Again, Barnett doesn't sniff Cousins.
2nd quarter, 11:35, 1st-and-10 at WAS 36, Eagles 13, Redskins 0
Barnett records his first NFL tackle and it's one for a loss. The Redskins attempt to block Barnett on the backside of a run with tight end Vernon Davis. Barnett tosses Davis aside and brings down Robert Kelley for a short loss. Barnett is relentless in pursuit and won't give up on plays that aren't run to his side. And forget trying to block him with a tight end. It was a very Brandon Graham-esque play. How many times have we seen Graham come from the backside to blow up a running play?
3rd quarter, 6:59, 2nd-and-6 at WAS 40, Eagles 19, Redskins 14
On this play, the Redskins inexplicably have Reed blocking Barnett 1-on-1. Barnett wins with a bull rush but is then tackled by Reed as the pocket collapsed around Cousins. There definitely should have been a hold called on Reed. Instead Cousins is able to escape the pocket and scramble for seven yards and a first down.
Barnett is a rookie and looked like one. It was a tough assignment for him in his first NFL game. Williams is arguably the best left tackle in football, and he engulfed Barnett for the most part. But don't freak out, Eagles fans. These matchups will only make the 21-year-old better.
Hollins only played one offensive snap, but wasn't a factor on the play. He did make a special teams tackle in the fourth quarter on punt coverage.
The only reason Clement is active on game day is his ability to play special teams. I don't see him getting any offensive snaps anytime soon, but it's nice to see him contribute on kickoff coverage.