DeSean Jackson says he lobbied for Jalen Hurts when Carson Wentz was the Eagles’ starter
It’s hard to believe now, when Jalen Hurts is an MVP candidate and Carson Wentz is a backup, but there was a time when the Eagles were criticized for spending a second-round draft pick on Hurts when they had Wentz as their franchise quarterback. Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, however, says he always knew Hurts was the future of the franchise.
Jackson, who made his official retirement announcement today at the Eagles’ facility, said that when he was playing on the Eagles in 2020, he knew how good the rookie Hurts was and told Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman that Hurts was the Eagles’ best quarterback.
“You should ask Howie Roseman,” Jackson said. “I was lobbying for Jalen Hurts back when we had Carson Wentz at that time. When everyone was like, ‘Why would we take Jalen Hurts in the second round?’ I remember we were at practice and Jalen, he was the backup behind Wentz, we were sitting back, me, Howie, I think [former Eagles receiver] Alshon Jeffery, and Jalen was going versus the starting defense because when you’re the backup you go versus the ones, so sitting there watching him, I’m just seeing him slinging the ball and he’s making crazy plays, and I looked back at Howie and said, ‘Howie, I told you, that kid’s going to be special, man.’
“Just to see where he’s at now — one thing I can say, back when I was here in 2020, we trained in the offseason and he came to Tampa, and everyone was like, ‘Why is Jalen Hurts training with DeSean Jackson? Why isn’t Carson Wentz out there training?’ He just made it convenient because I trained in Tampa and he came out and trained with me, and we trained for a whole week, and we were able to build, and I could see his mentality was different then. You could see . . . how eager he was to win. . . . The game was never too big, his persona, his demeanor, he’s walking around, flipping the ball, I’m like, there’s something special about him. The game is not too big for him. I definitely saw Jalen Hurts before what the world sees now. . . . He’s going to have some special moments in Philadelphia. As you can see, he’s QB No. 1 for a reason.”
The Eagles wisely moved on from Wentz in 2021 and made Hurts their starter. Just as Jackson knew they should.