The Eagles picked QUARTERBACK Jalen Hurts with their second round selection at No. 53. It was a move that surprised just about everyone — especially taking him so early —, and Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, and Andy Weidl spoke to the media shortly afterward to explain the jaw-dropper.
Roseman opened up by explaining:
“When Coach Pederson came in, we sat down in 2016, we said we’d always be interested in the quarterback position.”
They think Jalen Hurts is an “incredible teammate” — a term Roseman used more than once during the call —, and when they looked at where they were on their board, they thought he was the best choice. Roseman acknowledge the young QB still has a lot to learn.
On Carson Wentz and the QB room
Roseman explained that their plan is to surround him with as many good players as they can, which includes offensive weapons and valuable teammates. He was sure to note that their confidence in Carson Wentz has never wavered, but the Eagles will always be interested in quarterback.
“For better or worse, we are quarterback developers.”
He did talk to Wentz earlier in the day about who they were looking at with the No. 53 pick and Hurts was included, so the franchise QB did know ahead of time.
“We obviously looked at this from all angles.”
They didn’t see it much different from when they brought in Nick Foles. Plus, Roseman said that Nate Sudfeld has been clear that he wants to move on and lead his own team eventually — something they wanted to get out in front of.
They don’t think a rookie quarterback is going to come in and compete with their Pro Bowl quarterback, but with the way things were falling in the second round, they wanted to make a decision best for the organization.
On how Hurts will be used
“I think this player, obviously with Jalen Hurts, he has a unique skill set,” Pederson said. The head coach talked about seeing what Taysom Hill did in New Orleans, and even Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson when they were together in Baltimore.
Hurts was, however, drafted as a quarterback first, but he’s a great runner, throws well on the run, and has a unique set of skills that they will evaluate this offseason.
Roseman was asked what the best case scenario is if they develop Hurts into a great quarterback, but still have Carson Wentz as their franchise guy in 4 years. He and the team were not just looking at Wentz having a good back-up, but were also looking at his future trade value.
“We think he’s more valuable than the pick we took him at.”
On their draft strategy
Roseman said that teams were asking for a lot to allow the Eagles to move up in the first round, but the GM emphasized that they are extremely happy with the Jalen Reagor pick and what he’ll contribute to the offense. He didn’t think he was emphatic enough in their decision as he should have been when he spoke to the media late-Thursday.
With the Hurts pick, Roseman is equally as unapologetic.
“We think this is the most important position in sports,” Roseman said. “He’ll be a great addition to the quarterback room.”
This gives them another “incredible teammate”, a great guy for the locker room, and this is the kind of decision they are going to make and be proud of it.
On scouting Hurts
Press Taylor had a chance to go to Oklahoma’s Pro Day to see Jalen Hurts throw and also sat down with him at the Combine.
Andy Weidl went and saw West Virginia at Oklahoma last season, and he noted that Hurts is one of the few quarterbacks that can score on the ground and in the air. He’s very poised in the pocket and has a load of intangibles.
Pederson said with any young quarterback it’s going to be a challenge to learn all the new defensive reads and elevate his game from the college level. He spoke to Lincoln Riley about what they would do at the line of scrimmage. There’s going to be a learning curve with their offense, but he believes in Hurts’ ability to excel.