Well, that was something. Entering the NFL Draft, the contenders to pick a quarterback early in the draft that wasn’t the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, and the Los Angeles Chargers ranged from the New England Patriots, to the New Orleans Saints, to the Indianapolis Colts, to the Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Teams that could take a quarterback who already have an established starting quarterback, other than New England, would take a young prospect and groom him for the future. If you had the Philadelphia Eagles doing that, then you need to be on television as a draft analyst.
The Eagles used their first-round pick to take wide receiver Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson, a pick that was met with initial mixed reviews, but it was addressing a position of need. Their second-round pick left the NFL world stunned. With their second pick in this draft, Philadelphia selected quarterback Jalen Hurts out of Oklahoma. Not only did many not have the Eagles picking a quarterback early, not many had Hurts going this early in the draft. He was projected as a third-rounder or a fourth-rounder by most, but Philadelphia decided to go that route, but the question is why?
The biggest consensus and understanding were Wentz’s injury history. Tearing his ACL in 2017 and missing the rest of the Eagles season and subsequent run to the Super Bowl title. Missing the remainder of 2018 with a back injury and suffering an unfortunate concussion during the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks this past season. Despite the injuries, Wentz is one of the top-7 or top-5 quarterbacks in the game when he’s healthy and in a rhythm. What he did last year for the Eagles with all the injuries that happened around the offense by playing so well down the stretch and leading the Eagles to the NFC East division title was incredible. Wentz is as good as any quarterback in the league right now, which makes this decision by general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson more puzzling.
They later explained that they want to use Hurts in a Taysom Hill type role and mentioned how the Ravens used Lamar Jackson and Joe Flacco in 2018. Thing is with Hill, he went undrafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2017 until the Saints scooped him up. Hill was not necessarily looked at as a future franchise quarterback. Now, Hill might be being groomed to be the eventual successor to Drew Brees, but there are still doubts whether or not that will be the right move for New Orleans. As far as the Ravens situation with Jackson and Flacco, Jackson was drafted to be the successor to Flacco, but the Ravens using Jackson in packages with Flacco caused the offense to go out of synch at times. It was best for Jackson to prepare for when he would become the starter because that what he was being groomed to be as a first-round pick. You don’t just pick Jalen Hurts in the second-round and just have him for package and gadget plays.
Putting Hurts in these types of plays will hurt his development as a quarterback and hurt the rhythm Wentz is having on offense, and again Wentz is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Nobody could really benefit from this. Was a message sent to Wentz with this pick? I don’t know, and it’s strange to see a selection like this be made by a team that has made the playoffs in 2017 and 2019 largely because of him, and the Eagles gave him a big contract extension. The bottom line is, for better or for worse for Wentz, a talented player like Hurts is on the roster. If Wentz has injury problems again, and Hurts comes in and plays well, we might be looking at yet another discussion about the future of the Eagles at quarterback, just like with Nick Foles.