Some Philadelphia Eagles fans expressed anger and confusion during the 2020 NFL Draft over the team selecting Jalen Hurts in the second round when the team already has Carson Wentz.
It was the second-round pick heard around the world when Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman scooped up Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts during the 2020 NFL Draft last week since this was far from a top need at the time.
But despite the vitriol, confusion and frustration coming from fans on social media, it was clear that Roseman, head coach Doug Pederson and the rest of the management had a plan.
Of course, the biggest concern from the fan base was it would be a plan that wouldn’t include Carson Wentz, even after the veteran signed a massive four-year extension last summer worth about $128 million and with incentives, totaling $150 million overall.
That kind of deal doesn’t prompt teams to look for a new quarterback during the draft when many other glaring holes needed to be filled.
Perhaps that’s why when the folks at Philly Voice asked Roseman about the pick, he was surprised by certain reactions from fans.
"“You can be upset with me and the amount of resources, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. And let’s not forget that this is guy’s a person too, and he didn’t pick himself. That’s the only thing I’m surprised about. This guy is an asset to any football team, man. He’s a good football player. And he’s an asset to our organization.”"
This statement is a double-edged sword. It highlights that they value both Hurts and Wentz, but also highlights the issue the Eagles have surrounding their veteran under center
Unfortunately, Wentz hasn’t fully finished any of the last three seasons with the Eagles.
As fans remember, Nick Foles finished the 2018 season with a Super Bowl after Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14, and Pederson clearly sees value in a capable quarterback who can step up if needed.
Just like Pederson, Roseman clearly realizes this too, which seems to be why Hurts was selected since he looks more than capable to take the reins if he needs.
With Hurts being a product of both Nick Saban at Alabama and Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma, he has the leadership skills cultivated under both coaches.
Under Saban, Hurts completed 445 of 706 passes for 5,626 yards with 48 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. With Riley at Oklahoma, the transfer put up solid numbers as well by completing 237 of 340 passes for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The kid is talented without a doubt, and is a dynamic playmaker with clear vision in the pocket along with the ability to convert on third downs when necessary.
Pederson, planning to utilize a two-quarterback system, could do what the Baltimore Ravens did a few years ago when they drafted Lamar Jackson. No matter what, Hurts seems like he is going to take reps and some of those reps might even be taken away from assumed backup Nate Sudfeld in 2020.
Yet, the 21-year-old Hurts isn’t going to take the starting job away from Wentz, no matter how well he plays.
Angry fans pushed their belief on social media over Wentz being dealt a bad hand, and justifiably so since it’s highly unusual for a team like the Eagles to take a quarterback so high up in the draft.
In a blunt sense, at least for now, Hurts is Wentz’s insurance policy. He’s a long-term and a very financially safe choice that can be groomed into a starter or flipped to another team in later years.
Worse case scenario, of course, Hurts can take the lead if Wentz succumbs to injury on the field again.
Plus, Hurts isn’t abhorred by the man he’ll be working with either after seeing Wentz welcome hte rookie on social media almost minutes after the pick was in.
While fans and coaches of Wentz alike don’t want to have their starter end another season on the bench, his injuries are part of the backstory unfortunately.
Back, wrist, knee, and even ribs are all injuries that exist as part of Wentz’s career in Philadelphia.
Sadly, the man hasn’t been injury-free for an entire year since he was a junior at North Dakota State.
The front office and coaching staff see this situation surrounding Wentz and have banked on finding a way to get Hurts ready just in case he will be needed at some point in the near future, as Philadelphia will need to quickly have him learn the offense just in case.
Applying all these factors, it’s clear to everyone the relationship between Wentz and Hurts can be beneficial for all parties involved, as all the Eagles need to do is just let it happen.