Eagles

2020 NFL Draft: Howie Roseman explains drafting QB Jalen Hurts at No. 53

Eagles

Howie Roseman tried to explain. He tried and tried and tried and the more he tried the worse it got.

Soon after the Eagles selected quarterback Jalen Hurts Friday at No. 53 in the second round of the draft, Roseman spoke about the shocking move and did his best to explain why the Eagles would draft a quarterback that high when they just gave Carson Wentz a four-year, $128 million contract.

Even after he spoke for 20 minutes the pick was still difficult to understand.

Roseman opened with a statement before taking questions:

HOWIE ROSEMAN: “When coach (Doug) Pederson came in and we sat down in 2016 we said we were always going to be about the quarterback position, it’s the most important position in sports, and we were very fortunate to get a young Pro Bowl quarterback in Carson Wentz, and our goal is to surround him with as many good people as we possibly can, as many good players as we possibly can. … As we looked at where we were on the board and what was the thing that we believed in the most and more the kind of people we believed in the most, Jalen stood out in all those regards. We think he’s an incredible teammate. He’s got a lot to learn here obviously.”

Roseman then said the Eagles haven’t wavered in their belief that Wentz is the team’s quarterback of the future:

HOWIE ROSEMAN: “We’ve shown how we feel about Carson by our actions, we showed it by the amount of picks we put into him and we showed it by the contract extension and we believe this is a guy to lead us to our next Super Bowl Championship. But for better or worse, we are quarterback developers. We want to be a quarterback factory and we have the right people in place to do that and no team in the National Football League has benefited more from developing quarterbacks than the Philadelphia Eagles. This is who we are.”

 

Then Howie took questions. Here’s a sampling:

QUESTION: “Don’t you go into the draft with the expectation that a second-round pick will be a starter during his rookie contract?"

HOWIE ROSEMAN: “No team has gotten more value from the quarterback positions than the Philadelphia Eagles. We talked about it, and obviously that's a factor. Our history is a factor, and that's the most important position in sports. … We look at this pick as somebody who is really a tremendous player and person, and that's what the draft is about. The draft isn't about just doing whatever is best for a team in the short-term. The draft is about making smart, long-term decisions for your organization based on the priorities that you believe are key to winning football games. We've won a lot of football games around here the last three years, and I feel very confident that the decisions we make are going to serve us well for the short-term and the long-term.” 

QUESTION: “With a team that’s made the playoffs the last three years, why prioritize drafting a quarterback who probably won’t play over a player who could make an immediate impact?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: “We felt like this was a proven winner, a guy who is an incredible teammate. He's going to strengthen that quarterback room. … We're looking at it as this gives us another weapon. This gives us another weapon in that room. This gives us another incredible teammate. This gives us somebody that is going to be incredibly supportive to our quarterback, and quite frankly, this is exciting. This is exciting. This is exciting for our quarterback. This is exciting for our football team, and this is the kind of decision that we're going to make. And we're proud of it.”

QUESTION: “Are you afraid that whenever Carson throws an interception or has a bad game fans will want Hurts to play? Isn’t that why you moved on from Nick Foles? To eliminate that?"

HOWIE ROSEMAN: “Nobody is going to be looking at a rookie quarterback as somebody who's going to be taking over (for) a Pro Bowl quarterback, a guy who's been on the cusp of winning an MVP. At the end of the day, I'm going to go back to who we are and what we believe in. We believe in the quarterback position. We believe in this guy. … We just felt like we are stewards of the organization. Our job is to make sure that the organization is strong at the positions we believe in. That's O-line and D-line. We put resources into both those positions. We'll continue to put resources into those positions and the quarterback positions. … We’ll continue to put weapons around our starting quarterback, our Pro-Bowl starting quarterback. But we felt like when we got off this call and we met as a small group, this was the direction we wanted to go, and we felt like this was the right move for the Philadelphia Eagles going forward.”

 

QUESTION: “What is the best-case scenario with Hurts during his rookie contract over the next four years?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: “I think when we look at the upside that this player has and the players he can learn from in that room with Nate and Carson this year and the coaching staff that we have, we think he's more valuable than the pick we took him at. And we think where the league is going, when he gets experience and coaching, he's going to be a valuable player, and for us that's our job - to acquire as many assets as we can and utilize them and also utilize them to get more value. So that's really what the draft is about. It's about value, it's about acquiring players that we think have high value, and really when you look at the quarterback position, there's nothing that has more value. … When you talk about what the ideal situation is, that's obviously winning Super Bowls with our starting quarterback, getting this kid up to speed, showing what kind of talent that we think he has, and that's a great situation for the Philadelphia Eagles.”

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