With the 53rd pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Jalen Hurts. The words sent shockwaves throughout the NFL as pundits struggled to come up with reasons why this pick made sense.
In truth, they struggled because it makes absolutely no sense. A team that went into the draft with obvious needs for starters at WR, LB, and CB, and depth in all those same categories plus OL, used their second-round pick on QB Jalen Hurts.
This isn’t a referendum on Jalen Hurts, although it should be clear I am not as high on him as a lot of people seem to be. He is a versatile mobile QB, who has long term upside, along with a lot of flaws.
Eagles lost the plot taking Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia addressed the major issues they have at WR in the first round, selecting Jalen Reagor from TCU, and got great value for developmental LB Davion Taylor in the third. But to use a premium pick on Hurts is asinine.
The football world reacted with shock when the Packers traded back into the first round to select Jordan Love on Thursday. As the heir-apparent to future HoFer Aaron Rodgers, this pick did at least make sense.
While Rodgers is in the twilight of his career, and the logical thing to do is to put talent around him to make one (or two) last runs at the Super Bowl, for the franchise it makes sense to try and secure the position for the next 15-20 years.
They did the exact same thing when they selected Rodgers, so it’s really not that shocking. Rodgers has reason to be frustrated, but for the franchise it makes sense.
However, the Eagles signed incumbent Carson Wentz to a shiny new 4-year $128 million contract less than 12 months ago. And Wentz isn’t going anywhere with dead cap figures of $77m, $59m, and $24m over the next three seasons (per spotrac).
Jalen Hurts will see the field infrequently
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer said it perfectly: “Hurts may well be good for Wentz in the quarterback room. But the Eagles’ needs elsewhere were greater, especially when you consider the amount of plays a cornerback, safety, linebacker, defensive/offensive lineman, or another receiver will play per game.”
“Hurts, best-case scenario, is on the field how many times a game? Ten? Do you really want to either keep Wentz on the sideline or split him wide that many times?”
And that really is the crux of the matter. Why would a team building for a Super Bowl, with a decent roster that has some holes, ignore their actual needs for a player that will be on the field this little? It makes no sense.
Obviously Wentz has had his injury issues, playing every game only twice in his four years in the league, and missing the Eagles Super Bowl winning run in 2017. But if you’re worried about that don’t back a truck up to his door filled with money.
At just 27 years-old the Eagles shouldn’t be thinking about their franchise quarterbacks replacement, and if they are they shouldn’t have invested as much in him as they have.
Jalen Hurts will add some dynamism to the Eagles offense for sure on the limited plays he gets on the field. But with the glaring holes they already had, using a second round pick on a bit-part player is careless in the extreme.
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