At this point a year ago, the Philadelphia Eagles’ biggest question was what to do with Jalen Hurts and the quarterback position. They had moved on from veteran starter Carson Wentz and had replaced him with the second-round draft pick. Hurts in 2021 was inconsistent and unspectacular, culminating in one of the worst playoff performances by an Eagles offense against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card Round. Eagles fans were split on what to do with the future: trade multiple first-round picks for a high-end starter like Russell Wilson or give Hurts one more year to prove his worth in Philadelphia.
In the year that followed, it seems the Eagles made the right choice sticking with Jalen Hurts. Russell Wilson is a shell of his former player and trading first-round picks for an aging player seems like a waste of assets in hindsight. Hurts has become a top-tier quarterback in the NFL after dominating the regular season and leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl. He was a highlight machine in 2022 and has the Eagles’ future looking very bright.
One of the main talking points throughout the offseason will be where Jalen Hurts ranks among quarterbacks in the NFL after what he’s accomplished in his career so far. He has no doubt become one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but just how far has he come since Chris Simms didn’t even have him in his top 40?
Jalen Hurts vs the field
I’m not sure immediately where he lands but it is very high on the list. I think it’s pretty obvious, especially after the Super Bowl, that Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL. It isn’t a competition either. Mahomes can make any pass imaginable, can scramble around the backfield and downfield, and is very tough and resilient. After Mahomes, however, there is a lot of room for interpretation.
I would also argue that Joe Burrow and Josh Allen are both ahead of Hurts, but it is not by much. Burrow is one of, if not the most accurate passer in the league and much like Hurts, has the ultimate winning attitude. He has been to the Super Bowl already once and as long as he plays, will always be a threat to win it. Josh Allen is just so gifted physically that it’s hard for me to put Jalen Hurts over him, even with all of his turnovers. Allen can throw for 5,000 yards and run for another 1,000. He has some playoff success but has been limited by the two quarterbacks I previously mentioned.
After those 3, I would argue that Jalen Hurts would land in the 4th spot. A lot of the best quarterbacks may be more prolific passers than him, but Hurts is the ultimate winner and sacrifices pass attempts to better fit within the offensive system. Justin Herbert may have thrown for almost 5,000 yards, but I trust Hurts more in the big moment, especially after the Chargers’ epic collapse in the playoffs. Lamar Jackson is another former MVP but after 2 straight injury-riddled seasons, I believe that the Jalen Hurts has surpassed him as the most effective running quarterback in the league.
Lamar Jackson may have the 1,000-yard seasons, but Hurts is unstoppable in the red zone and has developed a more patient running style. While Jackson often relies on his legs as a crutch, Hurts only uses them when it’s necessary and doesn’t leave his throwing pocket as early and often.
At this point Jalen Hurts has also proven to be a better overall player than several mid-tier starting quarterbacks, like Dak Prescott, Daniel Jones, Derek Carr, and Kyler Murray. Older quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and the prior mentioned Russell Wilson are starting to show possible signs of age and regression. Brady would have been in this tier but has seemingly retired for good, although we can never be sure about him.
In a list of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL, I would place Jalen Hurts at the 4th spot. Some players are a little more physically gifted or have won more, but Hurts’ accomplishments in only 2 years as a starter has propelled him toward the top. He may not be the most prolific passer or rusher, but I would argue he is the most effective combination of both. The official list, if everyone was healthy would be:
1. Patrick Mahomes
2. Joe Burrow
3. Josh Allen
4. Jalen Hurts
5. Justin Herbert
6. Lamar Jackson
7. Aaron Rodgers
8. Trevor Lawrence
9. Dak Prescott
10. Matthew Stafford
Eagles fans, do you agree?
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