Undrafted – The Network

Jalen Hurts To Take Over. Debut Incoming!

LETS GO. Jalen Hurts was one of the players I anticipated hearing the name of the most during the NFL draft. And it came early on day 2. However safe to say I was surprised when it came from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Strange Opportunity?

I was a huge fan of Jalen, his work ethic, the comeback story. Every interview I’ve ever seen with him he impresses me. He describes it perfectly himself:

Here’s a guy who lost his job half way through the biggest game of his career, had to swallow his pride and cheer on the freshman. He then refused to quit on the team, stuck it out, and made the comeback a year later. Hurts came in for Tua in the SEC Championship game against Georgia just shy of a year after Tua took over in the Natty. And he rescued Bama, helping them to win the game. A victorious comeback story, and that would be the end of Jalen Hurts time with the Tide.

Hurts transferred to Oklahoma where he’d win the starting job and go on to continue putting up great numbers, and showing a great display of dual threat ability. I loved watching him on Saturdays and really wanted him to get the chance to play on Sundays.

So when the draft started i was anticipating where he might end up. There’s plenty of teams in the NFL who didn’t have it quite figured out at the quarterback position, but also didn’t have the draft capital to take one of the first three or four names early on. Once Burrow, Tua, Herbert and Jordan Love were off the board Jalen Hurts was absolutely the next name on everybody’s lips. I’d make a case for him being above at least one of those four on my board too.

Day one of the draft came to an end and at that point he was one of the top 5 names everybody was talking about still being available for day two. Where would he go? New England had paid Cam Newton a minimum salary and the future post Tom Brady seemed unclear. The Jags had plenty of picks and Gardner Minshew still the starter in Jacksonville. The Bears uncertainty around Trubisky got so rough that they added Nick Foles just before the draft. But the Eagles… seemed odd.

Carsons Contract

Why do you draft a quarterback in round two when your current quarterback is approaching an already signed max contract, and you’ve not so recently moved on from the quarterback controversy situation, after Nick Foles won you a super bowl. The Eagles showed their loyalty to Wentz by trading Foles and paying Carson a big ol’ contract. The contract starts to pay mega money for the 2022 season, and at the time of the draft I had no doubt he was still the guy.

But the problem was that the Eagles needed a tonne of help for Wentz, and in fairness drafted Jalen Reagor out of TCU in round 1, but many had the opinion that a QB was not at all high on the list of priorities. Frankly, I hated it for the Eagles, and hated it even more for Hurts.

I wanted to see him get the chance to win the starting job, and this felt like a back up ‘insurance’ job from the off. When the media asked GM Howie Roseman the question post draft he said:

“We looked at this from all angles, and we didn’t think this was much different than when we brought Nick Foles in, the amount of money we gave Nick Foles as a backup quarterback in 2017 and then bringing him back in 2018,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman Friday night. “And I bring up Nick because Jalen is that kind of teammate.

“So we kind of looked at the future of our football team and said we keep getting in this situation and we keep kind of putting in resources, and to get a guy in here that can be in the system and learn and grow, that to us, it’s worth its weight in gold. 

“That position, that room, we want good people in it. That room, we want to be a strong room, and we know what kind of person this guy is. We know what kind of support he’ll throw behind our starter, and again, that’s our priorities. Our priorities are that, and most importantly that quarterback position.”

So… a back up.

Dislike from me.

Fast Forward through the season…

…and Wentz and the Eagles offence has been horrific all season. The Eagles are bottom 5 in passing offence, ahead of two heavy run teams (Ravens/Patriots), and both New York teams. Not exactly elite company in the passing game. And the calls to see Jalen Hurts from Eagles and football fans in general have grown stronger with each passing week.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams…

I will say that the supporting cast for Wentz and the offence definitely hasn’t helped them out. They still have Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson on their roster, you just wouldn’t know it with the amount of injury problems they both have. Jalen Reagor has been good when he’s played but he too has missed some time. Miles Sanders is a gem of a running back, that’s for sure. He’s a piece you need to keep long term.

It seems that patience has finally grown too thin with Carson Wentz and it’s time to try the rookie out full time…

Now’s the time?

The timing is interesting. For multiple reasons. Don’t get me wrong i’m stoked for him. I hope he does extremely well and makes a case for himself. He’s certainly exciting to watch and that Eagles offence needs the spark.

However, the Eagles are still in the race for the playoffs, because they’re part of the worst division in the league. It’s an odd time to make a big switch from your franchise quarterback to the rookie when you still have a chance. Unless you really need to figure out what you have in Jalen Hurts, and believe he might actually offer you a better shot at making the playoffs.

One thing is for sure, when Hurts came in last weekend the Eagles looked immediately better. In fact, Hurts ended up with 109 yards a touchdown and an interception (not really his fault), against Wentz 79 yards and no touchdowns. He looked better, immediately.

If Hurts can play well the rest of the season, there’s a real decision to be made for the Eagles, once again. Now they can afford to keep him on the roster, while Hurts is still on rookie money. But the longer they hold Wentz if he’s not playing, the less of an asset he becomes, and the more costly. It’s a real possibility that they might need to look for a way out at this point, the fans have grown tired and once Philly turns against you, that might be it.

Philly fans have been through this once before with Foles coming in and performing. The loyalties belonged to Wentz. This time around, i’m not so sure lightning will strike twice.

I believe in Jalen Hurts, and i’ll be rooting for him this week. Funny how the NFL works, all of a sudden I’ll be glued to the Eagles game, and hoping that they win. They’re suddenly interesting to watch. Which says a lot in itself.

Not many deserve their shot more than Jalen Hurts does. Bring it on. It’s Jalen time in Philly baby.

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