The Eagles QB Situation

Posted: February 21st, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 4 Comments »

Carson Wentz is now a chapter in Eagles history. That leaves the quarterback job open and means there will be a lot of intrigue as we head into what should be a very interesting offseason.

Who will be the Eagles QB in 2021?

The options are giving the job to Jalen Hurts, drafting someone or acquiring a veteran. Before we get into the options, we have to talk about the great unknown…the new coaching staff. We don’t know what Nick Sirianni wants, in terms of type of QB or in terms of experience.

Sirianni has worked withe these QBs in recent years.

2020 – Philip Rivers
2019 – Jacoby Brissett
2018 – Andrew Luck
2013-17 – Philip Rivers

All three of those guys are big pocket passers. Sirianni didn’t hand pick any of them, though. Is that what he wants?

The other question is whether Sirianni wants to groom a young QB or if he’s open to a veteran. I’m sure he would love a rookie QB to develop, but you can’t force that issue. Andy Reid had pick number two and wanted Donovan McNabb. Doug Pederson had pick number two and wanted Carson Wentz. The Eagles are at pick six and we don’t know what Sirianni thinks of the draft prospects. The worst thing Sirianni could do is settle on a player. If the Eagles are going to draft a QB, they need to find someone Sirianni genuinely believes in.

Could that be Hurts?

I just don’t think we have enough information on Hurts to make any kind of definitive conclusion. He started four games, playing on a bad team and in a highly dysfunctional season. There were moments when Hurts looked like the real deal, but he struggled in the second half of the games he played. Once teams adjusted to him, Hurts didn’t handle it well.

There are real questions about his arm strength. QBs can overcome that, but they need to anticipate really well. If you wait for someone to come open, you’re going to need more velocity to get the ball there. I don’t think we saw enough of Hurts to know if his arm limits him to being a backup.

There is an argument to be made that the Eagles should go with Hurts in 2021. He’s cheap. He has upside and did show potential. If it is going to be a rebuilding year, see what you’ve got with the young QB already on the roster. That would allow you to spend draft resources on other areas that need to be addressed.

If the Eagles go the draft route, there are five QBs to focus on.

Trevor Lawrence – Clemson
Zach Wilson – BYU
Justin Fields – Ohio State
Trey Lance – North Dakota State
Mac Jones – Alabama

Lawrence is a virtual lock to go first to the Jags. Right now, most people expect Wilson to be next. He could go as early as second to the Jets. There are reportedly some teams who prefer Wilson to Lawrence.

Fields is the player that generates the most discussion. Some think he’s the second best QB, while some others think he should go later on in the first round. No one questions his physical gifts. Fields is big and strong. He is a gifted runner. He’s got a strong arm and makes some terrific throws. The questions involve his ability to make quick reads and quick decisions. Fields tends to lock on to his first receiver too much. He also will hold the ball too long at times. These are fixable issues, but they are issues.

Lance is another big, strong QB with a live arm and outstanding mobility. He played at a lower level of competition and only got to play in one game in 2020, but he is a legit prospect. There are some who like him more than Fields.

There are no guarantees that any of the top four QBs will make it to pick six. That would leave Jones.

Jones is the outsider. He is a pure pocket passer. Jones had an amazing season in 2020, leading Alabama to another national title. There is a question of whether he’ll go in the Top 20 or could slide into the second round. Most top QB prospects these days have good mobility and can make off-schedule plays. Jones is limited in both areas. Not all teams will want a pocket passer.

Sirianni spent multiple years with Philip Rivers, one of the least mobile QBs in recent memory. That tells you Sirianni knows you can have success with a pocket passer. It doesn’t tell us if Sirianni wants that. He might prefer a QB who can run and make things happen.

The Eagles will add a veteran QB. We just don’t know if that will be someone as a backup or if the team will go after a veteran starter. Jacoby Brissett is a free agent and Sirianni knows him well. Tyrod Taylor might make some sense. The Eagles can’t spend much so this would have to be the right QB at the right price.

There is the possibility of trading for Sam Darnold. He’s only 23 years old, but already has three years experience. Darnold didn’t have good coaching or a strong supporting cast with the Jets. He’s talented, but also has plenty of questions. I have no idea if the Eagles would have any interest in him.

The key to all of this is for Sirianni to decide what he wants and then to communicate that to Howie Roseman and the personnel department. They all need to be on the same page moving forward. That’s the only way this thing can work.

If Sirianni doesn’t find a QB he truly believes in, the Eagles should put off finding a long term answer for a year. They don’t have to get the QB right away. The Chiefs built up their team over time before getting Patrick Mahomes. Buffalo didn’t get Josh Allen until Sean McDermott’s second year. Bill Belichick has been the Patriots coach for more than 20 years and is still looking for a decent QB.

This topic will be debated heavily for the next couple of months. There is no perfect answer and that will make this both fun and incredibly annoying.

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What do I want?

I haven’t made up my mind yet. I find Fields incredibly fascinating, but watch the Indiana game or Big Ten Championship and you see real issues.

Jones also fascinates me. He was the best deep passer in college football last year. There is real value in that. The lack of mobility doesn’t eliminate him for me. I need to study him more closely.

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