Trying to Understand

Posted: April 25th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

I’m going to talk about the Eagles selection of QB Jalen Hurts here. My goal is to try to explain what the Eagles are thinking. Some of you see this as me defending the pick. Not at all. If you hate it, hate it. Rip Howie and the front office all you like.

I’m more interested in trying to understand what they did than just screaming about it. If you want to vent, don’t bother reading this. It will be a waste of your time. Here are some alternate ideas for you.

Hunter S. Thompson on the Kentucky Derby

Paradise Lost by John Milton


Okay, back to Jalen Hurts. If I wanted to summarize this really simply I would say that I like the player, but don’t like the pick. And I think it is important to separate those two.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Eagles drafting a QB. There is nothing wrong with adding Jalen Hurts.

But at pick 53?

That makes all the difference in the world. If the Eagles took him in the third round, there would have been a vocal minority, but many would have been okay with that. Pick 53 was supposed to be an impact player for 2020. Or the near future.

As it stands, if Carson Wentz stays healthy, Hurts will stay on the sideline. So pick 53 was spent on an insurance policy.


I was talking to a friend on Friday morning about the Packers drafting QB Jordan Love at pick 26. He didn’t understand the pick. I explained that Love was very talented, but needed time to develop. By the time Aaron Rodgers starts to show his age, Love might be ready to take over.

I then talked about how smart the Packers were in the 1990’s. They had Brett Favre, but kept adding QBs. Ty Detmer. Mark Brunell. Matt Hasselbeck. Aaron Brooks. Kurt Warner. Doug Pederson. And those are just the guys who panned out.

The Eagles hired Andy Reid from that organization and he brought that mindset to the Eagles. Never be satisfied at QB. Always be looking.

I remember the 2009 offseason. The Eagles had Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley. Your QB of the present, of the future and the eternal backup. No need to mess with that. Then Andy Reid went and signed Michael Vick.

Always look to improve QB.

But pick 53? Again, that just makes things different.

Those Packers picks came in the mid to late rounds of the draft. Some were free agents. There is nothing wrong with using resources on QBs. Pick 53 is just too early.

You are looking for an impact starter out of that spot. Maybe not for this season, but certainly for the future.

And this isn’t a situation where Hurts is being groomed to take over for Wentz. Carson is 27 years old. He could play for 8 to 10 more years. Hurts is here to be the backup QB and an insurance policy.


Someone did ask Doug Pederson about using Hurts in a specialty role, like the Saints do with Taysom Hill. The Eagles made it clear that drafted Hurts to be a QB, but Pederson did say the coaches would explore ways to use him.

Hurts is 6-1, 222 and a gifted runner. But you aren’t going to use him at RB on a regular basis. You might put him in for certain plays, but I just don’t see him getting on the field a whole lot.


I do think the playoff loss to Seattle played a part in this. Wentz started and Josh McCown was his backup. Nate Sudfeld was inactive. The Eagles were banged up and felt they needed that spot to go elsewhere.

Wentz got hurt early and then McCown really struggled, also getting hurt. The Eagles lack of a high quality backup hurt them in that game. There were plays to be made. McCown just couldn’t get the job done, especially once he came up gimpy.

Hurts will probably be the #3 QB this year, but he’ll battle Sudfeld for the job. Rookies like Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott won starting jobs as rookies despite being mid-round picks. Wentz won the starting job as a rookie despite being behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel and getting hurt in the preseason.

Coaches embrace talented rookies in a way they didn’t 10 or 15 years ago. If Hurts plays well, he could beat out Sudfeld for the backup job this year. The coaches will let them compete.


There is a financial angle to this. Hurts will be relatively cheap for the next four years. With Wentz costing a pretty penny, having a cheap backup does make a lot of sense.

But pick 53?

I do wonder if the Eagles had any idea what this pick would do from public relations stand point. Fans and the media are befuddled by the pick. Some are downright angry.

You can’t think too much about the PR side of things when drafting and making moves, but you better consider the impact of a move like this.

Suddenly every move is scrutinized in a much more adversarial way. That leads to pressure for the front office, the coaches and the players.

Howie did say that the team talked to Carson Wentz about the pick before they made it. I’m sure things are fine for now, but players love to talk. The first time Carson has a stinker of a game (all QBs do), there will be questions about Hurts. There will be speculation. There could be leaks from teammates who aren’t happy.

“Give the 2nd rounder a chance to play and show what he can do.”

Howie’s argument was that this was no different than paying Nick Foles a big contract. It feels different. Spending money on a proven veteran backup and spending pick 53 on a draft prospect are not the same to me. Similar, but still different. Foles could help Wentz develop. Hurts will be learning from the man he’s here to back-up.


I don’t think giving Wentz a young backup QB is what he had in mind when he thought about offseason moves that could help him out.


If the Eagles had moved back into the third round and made this pick, I think it would have been a lot easier to handle. Heck, if they had moved back a few spots in the second round, that would have helped.

Sitting at 53 and taking a backup QB is just odd. From a roster building perspective, that’s a lot of resources at QB. The Eagles better nail their other picks and land some good UDFAs.


I did list Hurts in the second round when I did my Eagles Value Board before the draft. This wasn’t so much a suggestion to Howie as me seeing Hurts as a second round player and someone the Eagles might consider if he slid.

Once you go past Hurts, the QBs stink. This wasn’t a matter of the Eagles waiting for someone in the fourth or fifth. I just didn’t think highly of those players. Hurts was the only non-first rounder that truly interested me.

But not at pick 53.


One Comment on “Trying to Understand”

  1. 1 Iggles Blitz » Blog Archive » Eagles Add a Pair of 4th Round Picks said at 2:28 PM on April 25th, 2020:

    […] Trying to Understand the Jalen Hurts Pick  […]