Eagles Insider

Eagles remain undecided on a QB for 2021

Eagles Insider

Just because Carson Wentz is gone doesn't mean the job belongs to Jalen Hurts.

A source familiar with the Eagles' thinking said all options are open when it comes to replacing Wentz.

The Eagles could draft a quarterback at No. 6 or move up in the first round. They could sign a free agent, although they don't have the cap space to go looking for a big name. They could trade for a veteran, although again their cap situation would limit who they could pursue. Or they could give Hurts 2021 and try to surround him with as much talent as possible and see what he's got.

As of now, no decision has been made and all options are on the table, the source said.

The Eagles agreed Thursday to trade Wentz to the Colts for a 3rd-round pick in 2021 and a conditional 2nd-round pick in 2022, which leaves Hurts as the only quarterback on the roster.

The source said the Eagles like Hurts and are intrigued by his skill set but aren't sold on him as the quarterback of the future, which is understandable. 

Hurts had some very good moments and some bad moments as well in the 3½ games he played after Doug Pederson benched Wentz. But it just wasn't enough of a body of work to know for sure what they have in the 22-year-old former Heisman runner-up.

The Eagles have the No. 6 pick in the draft, and that's a rare opportunity. They've picked in the top 10 only twice in the last 20 years, taking Lane Johnson at No. 4 in 2013 and Wentz at No. 2 in 2016.

 

In the last 45 years, they've had only three other top-6 picks: Kenny Jackson at No. 4 in 1984, Donovan McNabb No. 2 in 1999 and Corey Simon at No. 6 in 2000.

Trevor Lawrence is obviously out of reach, but if the Eagles identify someone else in the draft as a potential franchise QB — say Justin Fields or Zach Wilson — they could hope to get him at No. 6 or try to move up into the top three, depending on what the Jets are thinking with Sam Darnold and the Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa. 

If you're convinced your guy is there, you don't wait at No. 6, you go up and get him.  

If the Eagles want to take another North Dakota State QB, Trey Lance will be sitting there at No. 6. That would be interesting. And Mac Jones would seem to be the kind of guy the Eagles would be intrigued by.

The thing about drafting a quarterback again is that it makes you wonder why the Eagles drafted Hurts in the first place if they weren't planning on making him the starter in a post-Wentz world. The only way Hurts wasn't a wasted pick is if he at least gets a crack at the starting job in 2021.

It looks like there will be some veteran quarterbacks available, but the Eagles simply aren't in the position to bring in a big name. 

If they don't draft a quarterback in the 1st round, they could go with Hurts as the starter and add a second-tier (read cheap) free-agent backup like Tyrod Taylor, who played under new Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen with the Chargers, or Jacoby Brissett, who played under Nick Sirianni in Indianapolis. 

Guys like one-time Eagles draft pick Matt Barkley; Brian Hoyer, who played under Sirianni in 2019; or ageless Ryan Fitzpatrick are also free agents.

Using the 6th pick on something other than a quarterback would give the Eagles the opportunity to take the year to really get a sense of how good Hurts is with the thinking that if he struggles you're going to be back in the top 10 in the draft again in 2022 and you can get your long-term quarterback there.

Whatever happens, the Eagles will have to add at least two quarterbacks at some point this offseason. With Wentz gone and Nate Sudfeld hitting free agency, Hurts is the Eagles' only quarterback under contract.