It was bizarre when the Eagles drafted Virginia defensive end Jon Harris in the first round in 1997. Harris was projected as a 3rd- or 4th-round pick. He wasn’t even in front of his TV when he got selected because he never imagined he’d get picked that early.
It was even more bizarre when the Eagles drafted a 26-year-old fireman in the first round in 2011.
The Jalen Hurts pick may be the most bizarre pick in Eagles history.
And despite hearing twice on Zoom calls Friday from Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson and Andy Weidl, the pick is just as bewildering as ever.
Nothing against Hurts, who has ability and seems like a great kid. But for the Eagles? Now? I just don't see how it makes sense.
The Eagles essentially drafted a player at No. 53 that they hope never starts a game for them.
Here are 10 Random Observations on the pick and the comments from Roseman, Pederson and Weidl as they tried to explain it.
1. Listening to Roseman on Thursday evening, it sure sounded like the Eagles elected not to trade up to get CeeDee Lamb because they didn’t want to part with that valuable 2nd-round pick. Then they used it to take a backup quarterback. So that means they would rather have Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts than CeeDee Lamb, which I just don’t get. As my colleague Dave Zangaro pointed out on our Eagle Eye podcast late Friday night, what message does it send to Carson Wentz when instead of getting the best wide receiver in the draft, the Eagles got his backup.
2. If the Eagles are that concerned about Wentz’s ability to stay healthy, they could have gone out and gotten a veteran backup like Joe Flacco or Case Keenum who would be capable of winning games immediately as opposed to a rookie 2nd-round pick that Roseman hinted might not even be No. 2 on the depth chart this year.
3. One comment from Friday that really took me aback came from Vice President of player personnel Andy Weidl, who said: “No team knows the value of an insurance policy at quarterback more than we do after what we went through in the 2017 season and what we experienced.” If that’s not saying, “We expect Carson to keep getting hurt,” then I don’t know what is. When you've made the playoffs three straight years and you consider yourself one of the NFL's elite teams, you don't draft insurance policies in the second round. You draft players who can help you win a Super Bowl now.
4. The Eagles drafted a player at No. 53 that they hope never starts a game.
5. Do you know how rare it is for a 2nd-round QB to make an impact? There were 39 quarterbacks drafted in the second round from 1980 through 2018 and 11 of them made at least eight career starts and had a winning record. And that includes Todd Collins, Quincy Carter, Drew Stanton and Shaun King.
6. It was Doug Pederson that compared Hurts to Taysom Hill, the Saints’ gadget player: “You see what Taysom Hill has done in New Orleans and how he and Drew Brees have a connection there and a bond there, and you even look at when (Joe) Flacco and Lamar (Jackson) in Baltimore for a short period of time, how they gelled together.” First of all, the Saints claimed Hill off waivers from the Packers, who signed him as an undrafted rookie. And Flacco was 33 when the Ravens drafted Jackson. And Taysom Hill has done some nice things, but even if Hurts has twice the production of Hill as a novelty player or gadget player he wouldn’t be worth a 2nd-round pick. At No. 53, you draft a player that’s going to be on the field all the time. Not a few gadget snaps a game.
7. I can’t get past the fact that the Eagles could have had their pick of Baylor WR Denzel Mims, Michigan DE Josh Uche, Florida WR Van Jefferson, Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa and LSU CB Kristian Fulton — guys who could have made an immediate impact — and took a quarterback.
8. Howie said this — “We are quarterback developers. We want to be a quarterback factory” — one year after drafting Clayton Thorson in the fourth round.
9. Here’s another bewildering one from Howie: “The decision to draft Jalen Hurts is independent of Carson Wentz. This is about who we are, what we believe in and what we think this player is about. Period.” Don’t all your decisions have to be “dependent” on who’s on your roster?
10. Brian Dawkins, Eric Allen, Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders, Wes Hopkins, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Randall Cunningham. THESE are the types of players the Eagles have drafted historically in the second round.
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