The Eagles and GM/Executive Vice President Howie Roseman are at
a major crossroads this off-season. Do they continue to develop
23-year-old Jalen Hurts and hope he develops into a franchise-type
quarterback, or look to obtain an elite veteran through trade? They
could also trade up to get a college QB, but this yearís draft
class isnít particularly strong with NFL-ready passers.
The Eagles are in the enviable situation that they could do any
of the above.
Thatís because the Eagles own three first-round draft picks
in the upcoming NFL Draft (April 28-30 in Las Vegas, NV). They
own their own pick (No.19), plus obtained two more through shrewd
trades. The Eagles own Indianapolisí top pick (No. 16) after
sending quarterback Carson Wentz and his monster contract to the
Colts. They also earned the No. 15 pick from last yearís
draft when they moved down from No.6 to No. 12 with Miami (eventually
trading back up to No. 10 to select DeVonta Smith).
So, the Eagles could attempt to trade for a top flight quarterback
with an offer of up to three No. 1s and Hurts or they could use
those picks to surround their young quarterback with talent.
If they were to look for an elite quarterback, who might that
Russell Wilsonís name has been mentioned frequently. It
would likely cost the team most or all of those assets plus maybe
a lineman like Andre Dillard. Of course, there is also the problem
that when Wilson listed where he might like to go last season,
Philadelphia wasnít one of the landing sites. Heíd
see a distinct downgrade in targets from DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to Smith and Jalen Reagor. But things can change a lot
in a year. The 4-11-1 Eagles turned into the 9-8 Eagles with a
top-notch offensive line (ranked No. 4 by PFF). Assuming perennial
All-Pro Jason Kelce returns along with blossoming Jordan Mailata
and veteran Lane Johnson the 2022 Eagles OL should be elite again.
Thatís certainly something Wilson hasnít had and might
like to play behind.
The Eagles could also attempt to trade for Deshaun Watson. Watson
is still dealing with his off-the-field legal issues, but the
Eaglesí ownership, has, in the past, grabbed a star quarterback
with questionable morals Ö remember Michael Vick and his
dog-fighting issues? That actually worked out well as Vick turned
his life around and won the tough Eagles fans over time. I canít
see the Eagles going this route unless Watsonís legal issues
magically disappear and the likelihood that all 22 accusations
of sexual misconduct go away before next season seem very slim.
Also, the Texans really need a quarterback too so why would they
trade him if he is allowed to play? (Sorry Davis Mills is not
Aaron Rodgers keeps hinting he wants out of Green Bay, but thatís
not a real option for Philadelphia. At 37-years-old, he likely
only wants to play a year or two more and the Eagles need a longer-term
answer. If he doesnít stay in Green Bay, I think Denver,
Pittsburgh or maybe even San Francisco are better landing spots
Therefore, if Roseman ends up with a veteran, it would probably
As fantasy owners, however, you might be saying to yourself,
ďWhy do the Eagles need a new QB? Hurts ranked 10th in fantasy
points (359.4) and FPts/G (24.0). Heís young. He can improve.
I can win a fantasy championship with him, particularly as a ninth-round
pick (current ADP around 95).
Unfortunately, fantasy isnít the real world. Roseman might think
that itís Kelce and Johnsonís last chance at another parade. (And
who doesnít want to see Kelce give another speech on the steps
of the Art Museum like he did on Feb, 8, 2018. If you have never
heard it, you can find here
on YouTube. Warning: this is NOT the PG version).
Below is the NFL Combine Overview of Hurts from 2020 by Lance
Tebow, Hurts is a winning dual-threat quarterback known for
his strength, toughness and character. Hurts is a more accurate
passer and better runner than Tebow, but is inconsistent as a
decision-maker and tends to break the pocket when throws are there
to be made. His deep-ball touch and intermediate accuracy improved
this year so teams may see him as a developmental talent who will
keep getting better in the right scheme. He'll struggle to beat
NFL defenses from the pocket, but his ability to grind out yards
on the ground and make off-schedule plays should make him a solid
backup with upward mobility.Ē
Zierlein wasnít wrong.
Hurts made the fantasy top-10 with his feet (782 yards and 10
TDs) not his arm (3,144 yards and 16 TD passes). He overlooked
open receivers. His arm isnít strong enough for the deep
ball (something Wilson is among the leaguesí best at doing).
Hurts was 26th in completion percentage (61.3). He was 19th in
QBR rating (48.5).
Can Hurts improve? Sure. Heís only 23 with 19 career starts.
But Justin Herbert is also 23-years old. Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray are 24-years old. Age isnít the issue. Ceiling is
the issue. And Hurtsí ceiling appears to be much lower than
these other guys.
The question for Roseman is whether that ceiling is high enough
that if he uses his draft capital on young talent he can win another
championship before his elite OL gets too old? If he adds a second
wideout and then improves the defense with an edge rusher and
a CB or LB can he win a title?
My educated guess is that Roseman gives Hurts another year Ö
but also trades one of his 2022 first round picks into 2023 draft
capital (an earlier No. 1 plus another pick) in case Hurts has
hit his ceiling. The next yearís draft class appears to
be stronger at quarterback (Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Jake Haener
and maybe even Jaren Hall).