Jalen Hurts Was Just as Shocked as the Rest of Philadelphia When the Eagles Drafted Him
Philly already had their franchise quarterback in place with Carson Wentz, who was two years removed from finishing third in the MVP race and had just signed a four-year, $128 million contract extension in 2019. Eagles fans were stunned when they heard Hurts’ name called in the second round, and in a recent interview, Hurts admitted he was just as shocked as they were.
The Eagles’ decision to draft Jalen Hurts made little sense at the time
Hurts was one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class. The quarterback put up monster numbers at Alabama and Oklahoma and nearly won the Heisman Trophy in 2019, but there were questions about his arm strength and accuracy translating to the NFL.
Teams with aging quarterbacks such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, and Indianapolis Colts made the most sense as possible landing spots for Hurts. He could learn behind a veteran quarterback for a year or two and take over the team when they thought he was ready.
But, as we all know, that’s not how it shook out.
Instead, the Eagles surprised everyone by drafting Hurts in the second round with the 53rd overall pick. This came directly after Wentz led Philadelphia to a 9-7 record and a playoff appearance. A year prior, the Eagles proved their faith in Wentz as their franchise quarterback by signing him to a four-year contract extension worth $128 million.
So, yeah, the decision caught everyone in Philly and beyond off guard, and that included Hurts himself.
Hurts was just as shocked as the rest of Philadelphia when the Eagles drafted him
The Eagles’ surprising decision to draft Hurts in 2020 didn’t make much sense at the time. It’s worked out even better than they could’ve hoped, but even Hurts was shocked when he heard his name called.
“So, when they called me, I got the 2-1-5 number. It was Howie (Roseman),” Hurts said recently on the New Heights podcast with Jason and Travis Kelce. “Ironically, we played Pittsburgh this week. We played Minnesota and Vegas last year. I thought I would be at one of those places. … I thought I was going to Pittsburgh. So, when I saw PA, I was like, ‘Oh, this is Pittsburgh.’ But they just picked, so I didn’t know what to expect.
“I had no idea I would come here. I had no idea,” he continued. “I had an interview with them at the draft, but from the interview, I didn’t think I was gonna be an Eagle.”
Jason Kelce, Hurts’ teammate and a member of the Eagles since 2011, heard rumblings about the team’s interest in Hurts but didn’t think Roseman would pull the trigger.
“It was definitely, I think, a surprise for most of Philadelphia, but there were rumors circulating that there were people in the building that liked you. I knew that going into the draft,” he said.
“I had no idea,” Hurts responded. “When my number got called, I was like, ‘Let’s go!'”
Many people questioned Roseman at the time, including Hurts, but the Eagles GM is getting the last laugh.
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