The Eagles on Friday night drafted a backup quarterback with their second-round pick, so unless Carson Wentz gets hurt again, they’ll have to find more creative ways to get Hurts on the field.
Doug Pederson said they’re going to “explore” possibilities to make that happen.
I think this player, obviously with Jalen Hurts, he has a unique skillset and you see what Taysom Hill has done in New Orleans,” Pederson said. “And now he and Drew Brees have a connection there and a bond there. You look at with (Joe) Flacco and Lamar (Jackson) in Baltimore in the short period of time, how they gelled together. It’s just something we’re going to explore.
"I want to make a point here: First and foremost, Jalen Hurts is a good quarterback. He was drafted as a quarterback and he was a quarterback first. But he has a unique skillset. He’s a great runner, obviously. He throws well on the run. He has a unique set of skills that we’re going to take a look at as well as we keep developing this offseason and this advancement as we get ready for training camp.
On Friday night, the Eagles’ go-to explanation for using the 53rd pick on Hurts was that they value the quarterback position and thought they got a great value pick with Hurts.
But none of that will necessarily help them win football games on Sundays, at least not in 2020, which makes this pick very peculiar. And not to mention wildly unpopular, especially with really talented players on the board who would have made immediate impacts. Typically, the second round is a round to find starters … not developmental players.
If Wentz says healthy in 2020, the only way for Hurts to get on the field is to find ways to make that happen, sort of like how the Saints force-feed Hill into their offensive gameplan. But as of Friday night, it appeared the Eagles haven’t broached the subject with Hurts.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” Hurts said about his role. “I know I got picked today by the Eagles. It’s a great opportunity for me, a great blessing and I’m looking forward to it.”
This is where we should point out that while Hill has done some good things in New Orleans — he had 55 passing yards, 156 rushing yards and 234 receiving yards in 2019 — the Saints signed him in 2017 after he had already gone undrafted to the Packers. They didn’t use a second-round pick on him.
And even if Hurts does play some in 2020, it’s hard to envision a major role. In 2019, Hill’s third year in New Orleans, he played 23 percent of the offense’s snaps.
Hurts said he met with the Eagles at the combine and Eagles quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Press Taylor made the trip to Oklahoma for the Sooners’ pro day.
Remember, it was Taylor who last June had this to say about what he thought the next big twist in offensive playbooks might be:
I do think at some point one of the big things is having multiple people on the field who can throw the ball. I think that’s something [you’ll see] going forward. You’ve seen kind of the Philly Special, all the different versions of double passes, things like that. I think at some point something like that I could see coming into play.
Maybe the Eagles have something like that in the back of their minds for Hurts. Although, without OTAs and with training camps up in the air, they might face some difficulty trying to implement new packages like this one.
There is definitely something intriguing about the possibility of finding ways to get Hurts on the field in his rookie season. After all, he’s a great athlete and could very well become a good NFL quarterback.
That might not do much to validate this pick, but that’s really all we got.
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