When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, fans and experts alike were befuddled by the decision. The Eagles had just signed Carson Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract, so it was curious why the franchise wanted to spend such a valuable asset on a backup quarterback.
But Hurts stole Wentz’s job by Week 13 of his rookie season, and he’s looked like a future star ever since taking the starting role. Hurts could be the QB of the future in Philadelphia, but he was almost picked by the team’s biggest rival — the Dallas Cowboys — on draft night.
The Eagles surprisingly drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round
Going into the 2020 NFL draft, the Eagles had more than a few needs spanning across the entire roster. They addressed their biggest one in the first round by selecting wide receiver Jalen Reagor out of TCU. Philadelphia was expected to add another receiver, sure up the offensive line, or add a promising cornerback in the second round, but the franchise went a completely different direction.
Instead of adding young talent to fill a pressing need, the Eagles decided to draft quarterback Jalen Hurts out of Oklahoma with their second-round pick. It was a shocking move less than a year after the team gave Carson Wentz a four-year contract worth $128 million, but general manager Howie Roseman stated afterward that he wants the Eagles to be a ‘quarterback factory.’
That factory quickly ran out of steam a few months later. Wentz has looked like a bottom-tier NFL quarterback all season, and Philadelphia was just eliminated from playoff contention after falling to 4-10-1.
Jalen Hurts took Carson Wentz’s starting job in year one
It didn’t take long for Howie Roseman’s grand experiment to turn into the biggest quarterback controversy in the NFL. Carson Wentz led the Eagles to a 3-8-1 start to the 2020 season, and he was one of the worst statistical QBs in the league during that span.
Wentz led the NFL with 15 interceptions in his 12 starts, and he ranks 35th out of 36 qualifying quarterbacks in completion percentage (57.4%). He was replaced by Jalen Hurts in Week 13 after struggling against the Green Bay Packers.
Hurts has remained the starter ever since, and he might ultimately force Wentz out of Philadelphia.
Jerry Jones almost stole Jalen Hurts from the Eagles on draft night
Jalen Hurts could be the future of the Eagles franchise, but he was almost drafted by their biggest rival — the Dallas Cowboys. Team owner Jerry Jones and COO Stephen Jones loved Hurts coming out of college, and they nearly pulled the trigger on the QB in the 2020 NFL draft.
“We looked at him really hard,” Stephen Jones said last week on 105.3 The Fan. “Obviously, our guy is Dak (Prescott), but at the same time, Mike [McCarthy] is a big proponent of continuing to look at quarterback. He went off the board as he should have there in the second round. We certainly had interest in (Hurts), but as I’ve said all along, our complete commitment is to Dak Prescott, and look forward to getting his deal at some point finished and getting him back on the field. He’s certainly the leader of this team and we certainly miss him.”
Hopefully for the Jones family, the decision to pass on Hurts doesn’t come back to haunt the Cowboys.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference