It’s Officially Jalen Hurts’s Time in Philly
The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly traded former 2nd-overall pick and expected franchise quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts Thursday morning in exchange for a 2021 3rd-round draft pick and a conditional 2nd-round pick that could become a 1st-rounder. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the trade.
As such, 2020 2nd-round pick and former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts will assume the starting role in Philadelphia. Hurts started the final four games of the season for the Eagles, completing 52% of his passes for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. He added 354 yards and three touchdowns on 63 rushing attempts.
The Eagles were in contention to win the NFC East title when Hurts took over as the starter in Week 14. In Hurts's first start, Philadelphia broke a three-game losing streak by beating the New Orleans Saints at home 24-21. Despite throwing for more than 300 yards in the next two games, the Eagles came up short in losses to the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. With the playoffs out of reach, the Eagles controversially sat its starters in the second quarter of its season finale with the Washington Football Team. Washington would win the game and the NFC East title, ensuring a spot in the NFL Playoffs.
With the relationship strain between Wentz and the franchise, head coach Doug Pederson was fired, just two years after the team won Super Bowl LI, the franchise's lone championship. Ironically, the former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni was named the next head coach.
The NFL Draft puts the Eagles' front office in a precarious position as the team holds the 6th overall pick after finishing the 2020 season 4-10-1. As such, those who believe in Jalen Hurts have projected the Eagles take one of the top wide receivers in the draft: DeVonta Smith, Ja'Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle. Those who don't, however, have mocked quarterbacks such as Justin Fields and Trey Lance to Philadelphia.
Considering the Eagles expect to lose veteran wide receivers to free agency and the team has some rebuilding to do on the offensive line, giving Hurts a full season at the reigns and selecting some offensive help makes the most sense for the team on the surface. After all, the Eagles did select Hurts with the 53rd overall pick in 2020, signaling that the franchise at least expected to give him an opportunity.
The deciding factor could be coach Sirianni and how flexible his offensive scheme can be to accommodate Hurts's style of play. Still, owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman were a part of the triumvirate that brought Hurts to Philly, and surely they wouldn't have hired Sirianni without a plan for Hurts.
As of right now, though, it's Hurts's team. After showing some promise as a rookie, all of the improvements Hurts has made as a passer must come together for the 2021 season if that is to remain the case.
Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Passing Leaders