The decision to draft Jalen Hurts last year in the second round was the catalyst for a wild offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. That one choice ultimately led to franchise quarterback Carson Wentz being traded and the fallout started a full-on rebuild.
Hurts is (finally) the undisputed starter in 2021 following a fake quarterback competition at training camp. And the Eagles have nice depth behind him in Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco and third-year man Gardner Minshew II. But it all goes back to April 24, 2020 when Howie Roseman drafted Hurts and (unintentionally?) put Wentz on notice.
On Wednesday, the Eagles general manager discussed his thought process on the Hurts’ pick during a radio appearance on SportsRadio 94WIP. If Roseman had it to do all over again, he wouldn’t change a thing.
“So I think that just thinking about where we were in that moment, I think it was the right thing to do. It was a hard decision, but it was the right thing to do,” Roseman told Morning Show host Angelo Cataldi. “And I think we drafted him in the second round not just because he’s a good person and he’s a good leader, but he’s a really good player.”
The Eagles’ situation foreshadowed what happened in San Francisco this year when the 49ers moved up nine spots to take a rookie quarterback. They already had a Super Bowl quarterback on the roster (Jimmy Garoppolo), but invested draft capital in Trey Lance. Much like the Hurts-Wentz dynamic, they wanted an insurance policy.
“They traded three first-round picks to go up and get another quarterback. And their quarterback has been a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl and they spent a lot of picks on that,” Roseman said, via Pro Football Talk. “And that’s what we were saying last year — ‘We love Carson, but we’ve played [five] playoff games and we’ve needed our backup quarterback in all of them. It’s too important of a position to not have that.’”
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Eagles Set to Protect Four Practice Squad Players
The Eagles will protect four players on the practice squad for Week 1: RB Jordan Howard, S Elijah Riley, OT Le’Raven Clark, WR John Hightower. That means those players cannot be poached by another team this week. Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media was the first to report the news.
Clark and Riley seem likely to be promoted to the gameday roster against the Atlanta Falcons. Clark can play either backup tackle spot and concerns linger over Andre Dillard’s injury at left tackle, while Brett Toth’s inexperience could be an issue at right tackle. Remember, Jack Driscoll was placed on injured reserve.
Meanwhile, Riley would give them another body at the safety position as backup K’Von Wallace continues to work through a groin strain. And starter Rodney McLeod is coming off season-ending ACL surgery in 2020. Riley is a dual-threat as a competent special-teams player.
Happy Birthday, Jeffrey Lurie!
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday. The billionaire movie maven bought the franchise in 1994 for $185 million and turned it into a $3.1 billion juggernaut. Lurie, of course, is responsible for delivering the only Super Bowl trophy in Eagles’ franchise history. He’s also an outspoken voice for social activism and tangible change on behalf of autism research. Happy birthday, Mr. Lurie!