Gone are the days when a stout defense can hold up against the artillery of an air raid offense in the playoffs. On Sunday night, we witnessed the number one defense in the NFL falter against the best QB in the league.
Patrick Mahomes came into the league with a cannon for an arm and high potential. Admittedly, he mentioned in his first season that he was having difficulty reading defenses but his arm and playmaking ability more than made up for it at the time.
So now the awkward question in the room is what does this have to do with the Eagles? Well, for the first time in a very long time, the Birds are in a favorable position.
They have several options on the table and I can’t help but tip my hat off to Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni. Roseman is a unique evaluator. While he is the reason for the Pederson and Wentz separation, he is also the reason that the Eagles had a plan B going into this season thanks to the drafting of Jalen Hurts.
The fanbase has fallen in love with the second-year QB due to his poise and his desire to get better, but can he improve the flaws that haunted him all season?
Hurts lacks the arm that most of the top NFL QB’s have and he also has a knack for panicking in the pocket as opposed to going through his reads. We’ve all had moments where we threw our hands up in shock because he missed a wide-open receiver or because of an inaccurate ball. That’s not to say he can’t improve, but how high is the ceiling?
This brings me to the favorable position. The Eagles are committed to Jalen Hurts. There’s no big money attached to him and he wasn’t the guy that Sirianni drafted. The team is loaded with ten draft picks this offseason and three of them are first-rounders which gives them enough ammo to land a star free agent or a QB in the first round.
The Eagles aren’t guaranteed to land a franchise-changing player at 15, 16, or 19, despite the strong chances. How about we look at the players taken at those numbers in past drafts:
2016: Corey Coleman, Taylor Decker, Shaq Lawson
2017: Malik Hooker, Marlon Humphrey, OJ Howard
2018: Kolton Miller, Tremaine Edmunds, Leighton Vander Esch
2019: Dwayne Haskins, Brian Burns, Jeffrey Simmons
2020: Jerry Jeudy, AJ Terrell, Damon Arnette
2021: Mac Jones, Zaven Collins, Jamin Davis
Three names that stick out are Mac Jones, AJ Terrell, and Marlon Humphrey.
Would the Eagles be better off using a combo of picks to stack selections for the 2023 draft? How about trading for proven talent that can bring some stability to a very young team, taking advantage of the desperation of other franchises who want to climb the draft order?
The idea of spending three first-round picks on the defensive side of the ball is appealing, but so is the concept of moving a few assets in a big to bring in some veteran leaders to guide this young team.
While you ponder that question, I’ll go out on a limb to say that this isn’t a piece to slander Hurts. The kid is a stud playmaker but as someone who wants to see Philly raise another banner, I can’t help but wonder if Hurts can take this team to the promised land.
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