The most surprising pick in the NFL draft was the Philadelphia Eagles selection of Jalen Hurts in the second round. The surprising factor in the Eagles decision was the fact that they already have a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz.
Wentz had an MVP caliber season in 2017 where the Eagles went to the Super Bowl and won their first in franchise history. When he is healthy Wentz is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He can make throws that seem impossible and extend plays that seem dead.
The downside of his abilities is the fact that he gets injured a lot. The Eagles have been adamant about having a starting-caliber backup quarterback. Nick Foles was the backup that helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl in 2017 when Wentz suffered the season-ending ACL injury.
Last year the Eagles had Josh McCown but he wasn’t the caliber of player that Foles was. The Eagles still have Nate Sudfeld who has been honing his skills behind the scenes. He has played in games and showed some flashes but the drafting of Hurts shows the Eagles want to open up the offense.
Oklahoma Sooners radio announcer Toby Rowland says that the new Eagles quarterback can take the team’s offense to new levels with Hurts being able to spell Wentz to change up the pace.
“They can find a way to use him as a change of pace in addition to Carson Wentz,” Rowland said. “I think he could be a dangerous weapon. I like the fact that he’s not going into a situation where he’s being asked to be the starting QB right away.”
Hurts will be an added wrinkle that defenses have to prepare for when they face the Eagles. He will just be called upon to make defenses account for his running ability combined with his ability to pass when he is on the field.
Hurts will be able to learn in the wings how to be an every-down quarterback in the meantime. This is a good situation for him because he will not be rushed into taking command of an offense.
“I think the 1-2 punch with Wentz and Hurts has a chance to be dynamic,” Rowland said. “It gives defenses a lot to prepare for. He’s a tank when he runs. He’s not a corvette like Kyler Murray. Hurts runs over people.”
The big play has been a weapon that has been synonymous with the Eagles for as long as fans can remember. The longest passing play that they had last season was 53 yards. That was good for 29th in the league.
The Eagles were 24th in passes that were completed for 40 yards or more. In terms of the running game, they were 14th in rushes that went for 40 yards or more. They had two all season.
The Eagles need more big plays and Hurts can help with that. Hurts was a dynamic player at the quarterback position at Oklahoma. He was a dual-threat that put up big numbers.
He had 3,851 yards passing on 340 attempts and 32 touchdowns. Rushing wise he had 1,298 yards on 233 attempts and 20 touchdowns.
“Jalen will be a tremendous guy to have in that locker room,” said Rowland. “He’s an A+ character guy. He’s led two of the most prolific programs in college football history to the mountain top.”
The Eagles had three things that they were looking for in players this offseason. Can he run? Is he healthy? Does he love to play? Hurts runs a 4.59 at the quarterback position. He played four years in college without major injury and you can tell he loves to play because he transferred to Oklahoma so he could be the number one quarterback and get more playing time.
The Eagles are getting a great player in Jalen Hurts. He is a reliable player that will be able to develop smoothly in the offense. He adds another threat to the Eagles plethora of talent. The Eagles wanted to get faster and they had those three needs that they looked for in every player. Hurts fits all of them.
“I think he’ll be used in some capacity right away,” said Rowland. “He may be the secret weapon Pederson has been looking for.”