Philadelphia Eagles

Smith sets new Eagles rookie receiving record


DeVonta Smith is the king of all Eagles rookies.

With a four-yard catch from Gardner Minshew late in the first quarter of the Eagles’ game against the Cowboys Saturday night at the Linc, Smith became the all-time Eagles rookie receiving leader.

The reception gave Smith 916 yards, breaking DeSean Jackson’s franchise rookie receiving record of 912 set in 2008.

Jackson set the record in a 16-game season. Smith broke it in a 17-game season.

Smith had 875 yards coming into Saturday night’s game at the Linc. He had moved up from fifth to second among Eagles rookies in the win over Washington last Sunday, passing Charle Young (854 in 1973), Keith Jackson (869 in 1988) and Jordan Matthews (872 in 2014).

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So he needed 38 yards to break Jackson’s record. He picked up 25 on a catch on the Eagles’ first drive and then added a 12-yarder late in the first quarter to tie Jackson. Minshew went back to Smith for four yards on the next snap, and with the record secured, Smith left the game (although he played one more snap before shutting down).

Smith, the Eagles' 1st-round pick from Alabama, averaged 53.9 yards per game. Jackson averaged 57.0. The Eagles' record for yards per game by a rookie is 64.3, set in 1940 by Don Looney, who had 707 yards in an 11-game season. 

Smith will presumably finish his rookie year with 64 catches for 916 yards and five touchdowns.

The 64 receptions are 3rd-most in Eagles history by a rookie behind Keith Jackson’s 81 in 1988 - still the NFL record for rookie tight ends - and Matthews’ 67 in 2014.

Smith began the weekend ranked fourth in the NFL among rookies in receiving yards, behind Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals (1,429 yards), tight end Kyle Pitts of the Falcons (1,018) and Jaylen Waddle of the Dolphins (988).

Although Zach Ertz had 1,163 yards in 2018, no Eagles wide receiver has had 1,000 yards in a season since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Maclin and Jackson are the only homegrown Eagles WRs with a 1,000-yard season since Fred Barnett in 1994.

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