It was pretty surprising when the Eagles took Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but when looking at their quarterback situation, it makes sense.
The Eagles struck gold when they selected Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in 2016, but the one glaring concern with Wentz during his time in the pros has been his struggles to stay healthy.
While Wentz started all 16 games as a rookie and this past season, years two and three were a different story.
The Eagles were cruising in 2017 and Wentz was leading the way and looking like the unquestioned MVP at that point in time. Then, all of a sudden, disaster struck when Wentz was injured against the Rams late in the season, forcing Nick Foles to step in.
Well, we all know what happened next — Foles took the Eagles all the way to the Super Bowl, went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady, and helped Philadelphia win their first-ever Super Bowl. Foles also won the MVP award for the big game.
Philadelphia then had to make a tough decision last year regarding Foles and that was to part ways with their Super Bowl hero. It was the right choice, as Wentz was the younger (and better) player and was the future at the position.
Wentz made it through the entire 2019 season without missing any time but was knocked out of the team’s Wild Card game against the Seahawks. That forced 80-year-old Josh McCown to step in and while he played fine, the Eagles lost the game. Wentz, once again, had to miss out on a playoff game due to injury.
Carson Wentz is incredibly talented and can make the Eagles relevant year after year. The problem is that he can’t always stay healthy, so the Eagles had to find a solution behind him on the depth chart.
Enter Jalen Hurts, who Philly took in the second round of this year’s draft.
Normally teams don’t take a quarterback that early when they already have one they like, so that right there shows the Eagles don’t feel 100 percent confident in Wentz staying healthy for the duration of a season.
Hurts was not taken because Philadelphia thinks he’s better than Wentz. He’s not here to steal the quarterback job from the former second overall pick. He’s on the team to learn from Wentz and be ready to take the field if disaster strikes and Wentz finds himself injured or unable to play for another reason.
Hurts is no slouch either, as he proved during his time for two major Power-5 football programs in Alabama and Oklahoma. He helped lead both schools to the College Football Playoff and won a National Championship with the Crimson Tide in the 2017 season.
Last season Hurts proved he could be the same kind of player — if not better — when he took over as the starting quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Hurts looked like a cheat code for the Sooners, running all over people and finishing the season with just shy of 1,300 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Hurts might not be the traditional NFL quarterback, but the league is evolving and changing and he fits the mold of what the league is becoming.
If nothing else, perhaps Hurts being on the Eagles roster pushes Wentz harder and the Eagles go on to win more titles because of this. At the very least, the worst thing that happens here is that Jalen Hurts never sees the field and Eagles fans are left wondering why this pick ever occurred.
For now though, it’s hard to blame the Philadelphia Eagles for wanting to have an insurance plan in case their oft-injured quarterback goes down in a big situation again. Jalen Hurts gives them that insurance plan.