Despite their best attempts to claim otherwise, the Philadelphia Eagles were intensely interested in quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. They were willing to trade for both players this offseason. However, the two players were unwilling to come to Philadelphia (they both had no-trade clauses).
Once Wilson and Watson were off the market, the Eagles quickly went into PR mode, telling any reporter who would listen that they were still 100% committed to third-year QB Jalen Hurts. Keeping Hurts under center in 2022 makes sense. He’s coming off a solid first-year starting and seems to be universally liked by his teammates.
However, per the running theme this offseason, the Eagles’ actions behind the scenes suggest they’re still not married to Hurts as the starter moving forward.
The Eagles’ interest in Pitt QB Kenny Pickett is real
This year’s draft class lacks blue-chip quarterbacks. That’s been a common criticism amongst draft experts over the past several months. However, what it does have at the quarterback position is depth. There are several arms that teams can justify taking in the first round — plenty of arms that Eagles GM Howie Roseman can sell himself on.
Per recent reports coming out of the draft process, the Eagles are beginning to hone their focus on Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett. The New Jersey native is coming off a breakout senior season at Pitt, where he passed for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns. He has a big arm and great speed – the perfect mold for today’s modern era of football.
Don’t believe that the Eagles are actually interested in Pickett? All it takes is a quick look at Pickett’s dinner plans last weekend to confirm as much. He was dining on the Eagles’ tab with quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson. This, of course, doesn’t guarantee Pickett will be an Eagle come draft day. However, it’s a common first step for teams to take when deciding on who to spend their first-round picks on.
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi also mentioned the Eagles as interested
Speaking with the media at Pitt’s pro day, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi also confirmed the Eagles’ interest in Pickett.
“The Eagles are obviously interested. A lot of teams are interested. He may not get out of the top six…”
“When you think about leadership, you think about Kenny,” Narduzzi said. “Kenny Pickett is going to make someone a very good quarterback and he’s going to be there for the next 10 years. The Eagles are interested. But like I said, a lot of teams are interested.”Joseph Santoliquito, Bleeding Green Nation
The Eagles took Pickett out to dinner, and Pickett’s head coach went out of his way to highlight Philadelphia as an interested franchise. The cat’s out of the bag — the Eagles like Kenny Pickett, a lot.
Will Kenny Pickett end up in midnight green?
The Eagles’ first pick in this year’s draft is at No. 15. If Pickett is still on the board, one can only assume they’ll think long and hard about writing his name on the draft card.
However, the problem arises in whether Pickett will still be on the board by then. Several quarterback-needy teams are set to make picks before the Eagles in round one. This list includes the Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and Washington Commanders. Any one of these teams could snag Pickett.
Will the Eagles trade up for Pickett to ensure he’s their QB1 of the future? Maybe, maybe not. They did it in the past with Carson Wentz. In fact, they traded up twice to land him at No. 2 overall.
It’s impossible to predict how the draft plays out. So much of it depends on what other teams do. However, it’s time to stop ignoring the obvious signs of interest the Eagles are expressing toward Pickett. They certainly like him.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference.