This wasn’t a draft pick as much as a powerful message from the Eagles that they don’t think Carson Wentz can stay healthy.
That’s the only way to read it.
The Packers raised eyebrows when they drafted Jordan Love Thursday in the first round since Aaron Rodgers is "only" 36.
The Eagles pissed off Donovan McNabb when they took Kevin Kolb in the second round in 2009, when McNabb was already 33.
Wentz just turned 27.
The Eagles guaranteed him over $100 MILLION just 10 months ago.
You don’t draft a quarterback in the second round when you have a $100 million quarterback just reaching his prime unless you have grave doubts about his ability to stay healthy.
Unless you seriously doubt his ability to navigate his way through a football season, from opening day through the final snap of the postseason.
The Eagles have too many other needs to spend the 53rd pick on Jalen Hurts unless Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman and whoever’s on the team’s medical staff this week are convinced Wentz is just always going to be hurt.
With people like Denzel Mims, A.J. Epenesa and Zach Baun still on the board?
Look around the NFL.
Tom Brady is 42. Drew Brees is 41. Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers are 38. Ryan Fitzpatrick is 37. Rodgers is 36.
You can play quarterback at a high level for a long time these days, and a healthy Wentz should be the Eagles’ quarterback for the next decade. They’ve made an enormous commitment to him in terms of money and assets.
Their priority now should be getting him weapons, not a backup.
Hurts is an intriguing player and a talented kid. Maybe the Eagles can run a few gadget things with him at some point.
But when you’re building a roster you’re not going to use the 53rd pick on a guy who might run some gadget plays.
The only way Hurts really makes an impact over the next several years is if Wentz gets hurt.
Wentz’s last three seasons have ended with serious injuries, and this is the Eagles admitting that they’re scared it’s going to keep happening. They’re admitting that there’s a problem here. They’re admitting that maybe Wentz just isn’t The Guy.
The second round is where the Eagles found Eric Allen, Brian Dawkins, Zach Ertz, Wes Hopkins and LeSean McCoy.
No sane football team drafts anybody at any position in the second round if it doesn’t expect him to be a starter. If it doesn’t expect him to make a huge impact on the football team from day one.
You don’t draft backups there and you don’t draft projects there and you don’t draft gadget players there.
You draft starters and the only way Hurts will ever be a starter here is if Wentz keeps getting hurt.
So there’s only one way to interpret this.
Wentz’s season ended with a torn knee in 2017. It ended with a back fracture in 2018. It ended with a concussion in 2019.
This is the Eagles telling you they think it’s going to keep happening. Because if they believed Wentz was going to stay healthy, there’s no way they ever make this pick.
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