While the football world is waiting to see whether or not Carson Wentz could be involved in the NFL’s next blockbuster trade, it’s important to remember why Wentz is being so comfortably shopped right now – Jalen Hurts.
The future of the Eagles currently lies in the hands of Jalen Hurts. Drafted in the second round of last years’ draft, the immediate reaction to his arrival was one of confusion. To this day, debates surrounding the decision to take Hurts echo through the City of Philadelphia, but regardless of the reasoning, the pick has oddly given the Eagles a lifeline.
Usually, teams that are in a rut like the Eagles will end up with nothing when a big-time player wants to leave. For example, if the Houston Texans begrudgingly say goodbye to Deshaun Watson then they’ll be searching for a QB come April. Instead, if Howie Roseman plays his cards right then the team could be in line for a quick retool instead of a rebuild.
There’s a lot more upside to Jalen Hurts than there is a downside. A stark contrast to both the personality and playing-style of Carson Wentz, the second-year QB was dropped into the deep end in week 12 last season and never really looked back.
The command that Hurts had in the huddle was impressive for a rookie, but that shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The confidence exuded by Jalen Hurts every step of the way along his journey to Philadelphia and through his rookie season has been infections and loud, as opposed to the quieter approach from Carson Wentz.
Although the Eagles only won a single game with the Oklahoma product, the promise he showed was plentiful. In the four games that Hurts started, he threw for 5 touchdowns, 4 picks, and 919 passing yards. Throwing for over 300 yards in back-to-back games proved to the world that he could sling it with the big boys despite some clear quarterbacking flaws that led to three interceptions during that span.
Hurts was inconsistent when it came to his decision-making and accuracy. There were a few too many times where he chose to take off out of sheer instinct and missed the open receiver. All of these things are fixable though, especially with the new staff that Nick Sirianni has built for the offense.
Jalen Hurts didn’t go out and lay constant duds as a rookie without preseason and a limited training camp. He ignored the noise and despite showing some clearly raw fundamentals, was able to do some dazzling things and provide a spark of life in a previously dying offense, igniting one last push for a playoff berth.
It’s easy to assume that Nick Sirianni and his band of merry men were hired to fix Wentz, but it seems that Sirianni will get a fresh start with a QB that isn’t scarred by his past relationship.
While all the attention on the team right now is placed solely on the Carson Wentz whirlwind, the fact that his successor is already in place is a gleaming positive…even if his drafting was part of the chain-reaction that brought us here.
For better, or worse, Jalen Hurts looks poised to show the NFL that he can be a franchise QB and Sirianni would be wise to ride that wave of confidence in his first season.
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