The Philadelphia Eagles taking Jalen Hurts that high turned some heads.
Philadelphia used its second-round pick on the former Oklahoma Sooners and Alabama Crimson Tide starting quarterback. Hurts had to transfer to Oklahoma after his junior season because he wasn’t beating out Tua Tagovailoa in Tuscaloosa for the starting job. All Hurts did was lead Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff and finish as runner-up for the 2019 Heisman Trophy.
While it was hard to gauge what Hurts could be as an NFL Draft prospect, he proved so many doubters wrong during his one year in Norman. He flourished in Lincoln Riley’s Air Raid system like Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray had before him. Though he didn’t go No. 1 overall, Hurts went to an incredibly interesting spot in Philadelphia in the second round.
Despite having a former No. 2 overall pick already on the roster in Carson Wentz, durability issues have been a major talking point in Wentz’s four-year NFL career out of North Dakota State thus far. Though some people are dumb enough to think Hurts is the next Taysom Hill, was it really a smart move to draft Hurts No. 53 overall?
Was Jalen Hurts worth being a day-two pick by the Philadelphia Eagles?
On Friday morning, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger appeared on the NFL Network’s marquee morning show Good Morning Football, giving us all the skinny on why Hurts was such a fantastic selection for the Eagles, even if some Philadelphia fans aren’t pleased about using a second-round draft pick.
“I actually advocated for it back in my magazine in March that the Eagles should think about parting ways with the 53rd pick and draft Jalen Hurts,” said Baldinger. “I loved him as a player and a prospect.”
“Here’s the deal. The Eagles have played six postseason games in the last three years, and Carson Wentz played a grand total of nine plays. Now maybe he stays healthy for the rest of his career. We all hope he does in Philadelphia. But by golly, you better have somebody ready that can pick it up and carry that torch the way Nick Foles did.”
“I think Jalen Hurts is going to make the quarterback room better. He’s going to make it smarter and more competitive. I think everybody on that team is going to recognize the talent. I advocated for the pick, and I’m glad Howie Roseman made it.”
Keep in mind the Eagles have former Indiana Hoosiers standout Nate Sudfeld in their quarterback room. So there’s a chance Hurts is only a glorified third-stringer entering his rookie year in the league. However, we’ve seen how important competent backup quarterback play has been during the Doug Pederson era of Eagles football. Hurts could push for some playing time as a rookie.
This of course assumes Wentz gets hurt again, which is very much becoming part of the narrative of his football career. He’s already been labeled as injury-prone, and that’s a tough reputation for one to shake. Should Sudfeld give off any vibe he’s not ready to be forced into action, Pederson may feel compelled to give the ultimate college gamer that is Hurts his shot at playing.
Truthfully, Hurts won’t get a ton of run during his rookie contract with the Eagles if all goes according to plan. In fact, he might end up being Grade A trade bait like Bill Belichick had with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett on the New England Patriots. Hurts may never be a franchise quarterback, but his allure is too captivating for someone to not take a chance on him.
Unless you’re a believer in “America’s Team”, the Eagles should be favored to win the NFC East again in 2020. That means more playoff games on the horizon for the Birds. Given Wentz’s less-than-stellar track record of being physically able to play in the postseason, the Eagles will want to lean on someone who has played in a ton of high-profile games in his career before.
Sudfeld played for maybe .500 teams in Bloomington. In four combined years in Tuscaloosa and Norman, Hurts made the College Football Playoff four times, won three conference championships and experienced the thrills of being part of seven playoff games. If that’s not big-game experience, what is really?
Let’s be real. If the Eagles didn’t take Hurts when they did, he’d be playing on another NFL team.