The Philadelphia Eagles’ second-round draft selection Jalen Hurts has left many confounded as to why they would use such a high pick on a quarterback with Carson Wentz on the roster.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter attempted to add clarity to the pick during Saturday’s broadcast of the NFL Draft, but instead added another perplexing layer when he suggested that the coronavirus pandemic factored into the team’s rationale to select Hurts.
“Now in this day and age, I’ve had teams tell me it’s more important than ever to have a backup quarterback in this pandemic,” Schefter said. “We’re going to be playing next year, coronavirus is out there, Covid-19 – what if your quarterback gets the virus?
“It’s an interesting situation here. I think there are more problems now than ever before, and now I think teams are looking to shore up the most important position in this sport, and that’s why the Eagles [drafted Hurts].”
While the NFL still plans to have a season in 2020 and is working on contingency plans, Schefter’s theory raises more questions on how the league would handle such a situation.
When the NBA had its first player test positive in Rudy Gobert, it suspended the league and has still not resumed after six weeks. Should an NFL player such as Wentz test positive, Schefter seems to think the league will continue to proceed business as usual.
While the coronavirus may have come up as part of the Eagles, or any team’s draft strategy, there are plenty of other reasons why Philadelphia may have chose Hurts.
Wentz has a long history of injuries. He tore his ACL in 2017 — the season the Eagles won the Super Bowl — he missed the end of the 2018 season with a fractured back and was knocked out of the NFC Wild Card Game last season after taking a vicious hit from Jadeveon Clowney. Hurts could very well be an insurance policy for Wentz.
There is also the thought that the Eagles could use Hurts similar in the way the Saints use Taysom Hill as a change-of-pace quarterback, although Hurts said he has “no idea” how he will be used.