After moving on from former second overall pick Carson Wentz this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have been circling the quarterback wagon once again. After selecting Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, he left much to be desired in his limited looks a year ago as well.
However, just coming out today, Jeff Lurie has instructed general manager Howie Roseman to build around Hurts in the 2021 NFL Draft and in free agency, and not replace him. A bold move considering the Eagles will be picking with the sixth overall selection this upcoming April in a top-heavy quarterback class featuring Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Zach Wilson beyond Trevor Lawrence.
Why Eagles are making a mistake
If there is one position in all of football worth double-tapping and making sure you have the right fit, it is the quarterback position. This is why we saw the Cleveland Browns ditch Deshone Kizer for Baker Mayfield after just a season, and the Arizona Cardinals following suit with Kyler Murray over Josh Rosen. Potentially staring down and passing up one of Fields, Wilson, or Lance for Hurts is a risky gamble, that on paper, does not look like a strong bet to make.
During his four-game stretch at the end of the season, Hurts proved to be inefficient for the Eagles, falling behind the likes of C.J. Beathard of the San Francisco 49ers, Nick Foles of the Chicago Bears, and Andy Dalton of the Dallas Cowboys in DVOA (according to Football Outsiders).
As far as quarterback rating is concerned, Hurts earned just a measly 41.2. This ranks him the same company as Sam Darnold of the New York Jets and Jake Luton of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Needless to say, Hurts did not stand in great company a year ago when he was given the starting job.
There are always guys next year until there are not
Sure, on paper the 2022 crop of quarterbacks look appealing as well, including the likes of Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels, Southern California’s Kedon Slovis, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, and more. However, as the adage goes: “there are always guys next year until there are not.”
There is no way to predict how this 2022 crop of quarterbacks is going to pan out on the field, and how they will pan out in the NFL (similar to the 2018 NFL Draft crop). In all reality, squeezing more than two elite prospects out of a draft class is rare, let alone four like we see this year. Either Lurie and the Eagles better be sure about Hurts, or they must have the utmost confidence in this 2022 crop of quarterbacks. If not, they could be waiting until 2023 before they find their guy of the future.