It all started for me when I was on the couch watching the second round of the NFL Draft, waiting for what felt like an hour for that pick to come through.
The Eagles were still on the clock, and I was so excited to see who the newest face of the Eagles would be. I see the commissioner come out of the back room, ready to announce the pick. Then, suddenly, from upstairs, my Dad yells, “Boys, things just got interesting.” He was saying that, but for every game that the Eagles play you could say that to describe the game. The Eagles had drafted Jalen Hurts, a top quarterback out of Oklahoma. That might sound like a great pick on the surface, but it makes no sense. The Eagles already had a proven quarterback in Carson Wentz, someone who had singlehandedly carried the team to the playoffs the previous year with almost no help on offense. Why would we draft a quarterback? A second-round pick is very valuable and last year we took our franchise running back with it. All these thoughts were racing through my mind for the next few minutes.
The more I thought about it, the worse of a move it seemed to be. There was no way that a trade could happen because he was just a rookie. To add to the situation, I remembered that Wentz had previously signed an extension to make him one of the highest paid players in the league. Why draft a backup for a guy that you have not only invested in financially, but also has proven himself among the league’s best. I pondered the move as I went to bed in my Wentz jersey, doubting what he could do in the future if the organization clearly had no faith in him.
… Plus, I really didn’t want to buy a new jersey.
Months later I sit in my Wentz jersey watching the Eagles play on Sunday. He is playing terribly, but now this isn’t even a surprise. He has the most interceptions in the league and is widely considered to be among the worst quarterbacks. Suddenly, Jalen Hurts comes onto the field. Wentz is sitting on the bench, and finally, the coach has made the decision that I think is the right one.
Now Jalen Hurts will start this Sunday against the Saints and most likely for the rest of the year. He came in at the end of the Eagles vs Packers game and provided a spark in the offense that was unheard of this season. He made everything look good again, and threw better passes in one half than Wentz has thrown all season.
Overall, I think this is a good move for the Eagles because the trend of the NFL is leaning towards quarterbacks that can scramble and improvise, or create something out of nothing. They don’t need to rely on good offensive lines as much as in the past which takes so much pressure off of the team because they can be where the finger is pointed when things go wrong.
Think about some of the best quarterbacks right now in the NFL: Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers. Three out of these four players can move with their legs and can scramble out of the pocket. I think Jalen Hurts will be an unexpected surprise for this team, and if that happens it could provide an even worse problem for the Eagles. This problem would be which quarterback to keep, and how to get rid of one. In my mind, they should keep Hurts no matter what happens this season and try to pass Wentz off to a team that is in desperate need of a quarterback like the Colts, Jaguars, and Patriots, who would all be perfect fits for him.
With Hurts starting, the Eagles still won’t be in a position to make a substantial playoff run this season so they should continue to get good picks in the draft and rebuild the team with the young players that they already have in place. If everything goes well, which rarely happens in sports, the Eagles have a bright future ahead.