Jalen Hurts has started to get some under-the-radar MVP consideration with his heady play over the past four weeks. The Philadelphia Eagles have tailored their offense to the dual-threat quarterback’s strengths, and it’s paying huge dividends.
Hurts’ first 15 NFL starts are on par with what Lamar Jackson did as a rookie. He has 4,115 total yards of offense, combined with 29 touchdowns and 209 first downs. He has the top QB rating (75.0) over the past five weeks, too. Hurts’ steady leadership was always his biggest intangible so it’s no surprise that many are ready to anoint him the franchise starter in Philly.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that sources indicated the Eagles will exit from “quarterback derbies” if Hurts keeps playing at a high level. Remember, the organization gave him no guarantees as reports kept piling up about them being interested in Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers. It could be time to put all that speculation to rest, per Rapoport.
“Jalen Hurts is on his way to establishing himself as the franchise starter,” Rapoport said. “Sources have explained this week that if Jalen Hurts keeps playing like he has, if the Eagles keep winning, then he will simply be their future. Now the Philadelphia Eagles over the course of the past offseason have been in seemingly every quarterback derby – Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, maybe Aaron Rodgers.
“Meanwhile, Hurts kind of just sat back and got better. He’s become one of the NFL’s most efficient runners and an impressive passer. If he keeps this up, they are going to be out on quarterback derbies going forward. Plus, they can spend all those three first-round picks to build the rest of their franchise.”
Philadelphia owns three potential first-rounders in the 2022 draft, including one from the Carson Wentz trade. If the season ended today, the Eagles would hold the No. 7 overall pick (via Miami), the No. 11 overall pick (their own), and the No. 15 overall pick (via Indianapolis).
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Eagles Investigating QB Trades?
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer had a different opinion on what the Eagles might do in 2022. He thinks team owner Jeffrey Lurie is “sufficiently consumed” with getting the quarterback position right. That means all options are on the table, including a possible trade for Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson. The 2022 rookie class is not rich in quarterback talent, so Hurts’ play over these final six weeks will go a long way in guiding that decision.
Breer wrote the following in a recent mailbag column:
Based on the look of the 2022 draft class, my guess would be that they won’t draft one with one of their three first-round picks, seeing as though Jalen Hurts has come along and may have a brighter future now than any of those guys.
Could they trade for one? Absolutely. Owner Jeffrey Lurie is sufficiently consumed with getting the quarterback position righted post-Carson Wentz, and I think Roseman and his crew would at least investigate the idea of Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson in the offseason, anyway.
Hurts’ Personality Fits Philadelphia
Hurts comes across as a smooth operator in press conferences and interviews. The pressure doesn’t appear to faze him at all, a trait that extends to the huddle where his teammates see a player not easily rattled. It starts with the 23-year-old’s mature personality, according to Jason Kelce.
“Personality, for one. Every single day he’s coning to work trying to get better,” Kelce said. “He’s got the right mindset. He’s got a presence about him, a confidence and things like that that lend themselves to being in that position.
“As far as the intangibles, the leadership and all that stuff, Jalen’s been phenomenal in that regard. And I think most guys who are wired like that do that from the age of 23. He’s probably been doing that since high school.”