Thoughts on Hurts, Wentz and the Eagles' shocking decision


Ummm what?

The Eagles selected quarterback Jalen Hurts on Friday night. 

Not after watching him fall. Not in the late fourth round. Not in the fifth. 

No, they did it with the 53rd overall pick, a stunning decision by a front office that just one year ago handed quarterback Carson Wentz a record-setting contract.

“I want to be very clear, and I think I'm speaking for Doug and Andy, Carson is 100 percent. He is a Pro-Bowl, young quarterback that we're totally excited about,” Howie Roseman said. “The decision to draft Jalen Hurts is independent of Carson Wentz. This is about who we are, what we believe in and what we think this player is about. Period.”

As the rest of Philadelphia and the NFL tries to make sense of the pick, here are some thoughts  and what the decision means for Wentz, Hurts and the Eagles: 

Carson Wentz: Any discussion of the decision to draft Hurts has to start with Carson Wentz, who is once again waking up in a world where the talk of the town is the backup quarterback. 

That has to hurt for Wentz, who just dealt with perhaps the biggest backup distraction in the history of Philadelphia with Nick Foles. Hurt doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring, but he does the a 2nd-round pick invested in him and was probably one of the most-known college players in the draft. This isn’t Clayton Thorson. This is a player everyone in the Eagles’ locker room will know and will be talking about. This is a player that coming into the draft was viewed as a potential starter. 

That won’t change the fact in Philadelphia that Wentz is the starter, but Howie Roseman is a smart man, and he knew what the reaction to picking Hurts would be — so much so that he called Wentz Saturday morning to tell him they might pick Hurts. Roseman said Wentz gave his blessing, but it is hard to imagine Wentz would have said anything else. 

The Eagles can shout from the rooftops they still believe in Wentz. They are almost certainly telling the truth. 

But the fact they even need to say it means they know there is a chance Wentz might not know it, and that is not a great thing for your franchise quarterback to have to deal with. 

Jalen Hurts: You have to wonder how Hurts feels about this pick. An extremely competitive player that transferred colleges so he wouldn’t have to sit on the bench, Hurts is now coming to a team that has a quarterback they already handed a franchise-level deal to. Hurts insisted he was excited to come to Philadelphia, but spending time answering questions about potentially never playing likely isn’t how he envisioned his draft night. 

Take away the Wentz dynamic, and Hurts is a very intriguing prospect. He has a strong arm, he can move in the pocket and is always a threat to make a play with his legs. If everything goes right, however, Hurts will never play a snap as the starting quarterback for this team during his rookie deal. That has to be deflating. 

Hurts and Wentz together: Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was asked about the idea of putting both Wentz and Hurts on the field at the same time, or using him in the same role the New Orleans Saints use Taysom Hill. He sounded open to it, and that could be effective, especially with Pederson designing and calling the plays. Hill, however, was undrafted. The Eagles used a major asset on Hurts. Using a second-round pick on a player that might only be used on gadget plays is a tough sell. 
Trade?: Perhaps the Eagles plan on trading Hurts, although you have to think they would have just traded the pick to whatever team wanted Hurts. Perhaps they feel if they develop Hurts they can eventually trade him for more than the 53rd pick they used on him. That is certainly the vibe Howie Roseman gave in his post-pick presser, and seemed to hint that was the plan without actually saying it. It is hard to imagine the Eagles getting higher than the 53rd overall pick back in return for Hurts, however, and gambling they will on such a high asset is certainly a questionable move. 

What is a perfect result?: It is clear what the outcome for a first-or-second round player should be — a starter. That isn’t the case with Hurts, as him turning into a starter would be the Wentz era is over, something the team doesn’t want to happen. On-the-field, like with Foles, Hurts’ success can only come at the expense of Wentz.

Off-the-field, let’s say everything works out. Hurts develops into a great player, shines in the preseason and the Eagles can trade him later on. The best example is what the New England Patriots did with Jimmy Garoppolo (although he was in someways drafted to be the successor to Tom Brady). The Patriots selected Garoppolo with the 62nd overall pick in the second-round pick in 2014. He played sparingly, but was developed and eventually traded midway through his fourth season for another second-round pick. 

Using that same timeline, Hurts would result in a second-round pick in the 2024 draft.

It is going to take a lot to go right, or for things to go wrong with Wentz, for the selection of Hurts to turn into a smart move by the Eagles. 

Again….what?: Anytime you have to call your 27-year old franchise quarterback to warn him about a pick, it is probably a good idea to just not make that call, change your plan and draft anything but a quarterback instead. 
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!