In a social media shattering move, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick. In a move that made many analysts scratch their heads, Philadelphia solidified their backup quarterback position with this pick. After getting Carson Wentz a weapon in the first round, they draft an insurance plan in the second. Using the 53rd overall pick on a backup quarterback is a move that no one expected.
Carson Wentz, when healthy, is the Eagles franchise quarterback. Drafting Jalen Hurts does not change that. The Eagles have a long history of drafting quarterbacks and developing them. Andy Reid was a master at this, and his disciple Doug Pederson will now try his hand. The Eagles current backup, Nate Sudfeld has been very clear that he wants to move on and be a starter. The Eagles got in front of this by drafting a phenomenal athlete that will hopefully hold great trade value in four years. Jalen Hurts is not competing with Wentz for the starting position, let’s be very clear about that.
After drafting Hurts, Eagles GM Howie Roseman emphatically discussed Hurts being an “incredible teammate.” He makes the quarterback room better, and it’s the most important position on the football field. The Eagles need players like this in their locker room and Hurts fits the mold. Will we see Hurts used at other places this year? He was drafted as a quarterback, but his athletic ability could be useful for offensively minded Doug Pederson.
Addressing Initial Backlash
The Eagles have many needs, and a second-round pick is very valuable to use on a backup QB. Understandably, fans are upset, but you have to look at the whole picture. Jalen Hurts is a winner, he’s won everywhere he’s been, and he’s a phenomenal athlete. Carson Wentz has been hurt, a lot, in his early years in the NFL. With the quarterback being the most important position, ensuring the position isn’t all bad. Yes, pick 53 is very early to pick a quarterback when you already have a 27-year-old franchise quarterback. However, Howie and company think Hurts is more valuable than the pick they used to draft him. Howie made it clear they drafted Hurts to be more than a backup. They drafted him with his future value in mind. That is something we should all be able to live with.
The 53rd pick could have been LSU CB Kristian Fulton or Wisconsin LB Zach Baun. It could have been WR Van Jefferson out of Florida. The Eagles chose to solidify their QB room with a proven athlete. The Eagles have other holes to fill, but this is where they thought they got the most value out of the pick. You have to separate yourself from being a fan and understand the pick from an organizational standpoint. This was still a solid pick for a team that is currently in its Super Bowl window. This is the kind of move that a smart franchise makes. Let’s see what they choose to address next in the back end of the third round with the 103rd overall pick.