So much for competition for the No. 2 quarterback spot.
Doug Pederson said Nate Sudfeld already has the job.
“I fully expect Nate to come in and be aggressive and do the things that he's capable of doing and become the backup to Carson,” Pederson said Tuesday.
That means Jalen Hurts, the 53rd pick in this year’s draft, will start the season as the Eagles' No. 3 quarterback.
Which is how Sudfeld finished last season.
When last year began, Sudfeld was No. 2, but when he broke his wrist in the summer, the Eagles signed Josh McCown. And even when Sudfeld was healthy, McCown remained No. 2 and wound up playing most of the playoff loss to Seattle.
McCown is no longer around, and the Eagles’ quarterback room includes Wentz, Sudfeld, Hurts and former Giants 4th-round pick Kyle Lauletta.
Sudfeld is going into his fifth NFL season and fourth with the Eagles, so even though he’s played sparingly - and never taken a meaningful snap - it makes sense that he’d be ahead of Hurts.
Especially during an offseason with no OTAs.
Pederson compared this offseason to 2011, when the lockout wiped out all offseason workouts and limited the amount young players were able to learn and prepare for the season.
Seeing this pandemic and thinking back to when we came out of the lockout year, I think early on in this season, football teams are going to have to rely on their veteran players, and Nate is one of those guys for us,” Pederson said. “He's been on our roster the last couple of seasons and he knows exactly what we are doing. I have a ton of confidence in Nate to become the backup quarterback. Nothing is ever handed to anybody I always try to create competition at every position, and quarterback, as you guys know, is not exempt from that.
Sudfeld has completed 21 of 25 career passes for 80 percent, which makes him the most accurate quarterback in NFL History with a minimum of 25 attempts for those of you who care about meaningless stats.
His 106.0 career passer rating is 3rd-highest in NFL history among QBs who’ve thrown 25 passes, behind Craig Nall (123.8) and Pat Mahomes (108.9).
Sudfeld’s only career TD pass was a 22-yarder to Nelson Agholor at Washington on the final day of the 2018 season.
Hurts, who started his college career at Alabama and finished at Oklahoma, finished second in last year’s Heisman Trophy balloting, behind only LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
Jalen is just learning and picking up our system, and he’s another one, another young player that we drafted who, there's a lot to learn,” Pederson said. “So are we going to take it a little bit slower maybe with him until he grasps the offense? You might have to. What I like about it is always the unknown, and the unknown is how well a guy I think can progress. And then once we get him on the grass, put him through drills, put him through practices, then we see exactly what these guys are all about. Right now, Jalen is doing an outstanding job of picking up the offense, spitting it back to [quarterbacks coach] Press [Taylor] and understanding what we are trying to get done.
Sudfeld, 26, is on a one-year contract and has expressed a desire to compete for a starting job after this season, which won’t happen here.
So Hurts in 2021 will be expected to be No. 2.
But for now he’ll be the world’s most famous third-stringer, trying to make an impact as a gadget player as he learns an offense the Eagles hope he doesn’t have to run for a long time.
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