Last year in the 2020 NFL Draft, quarterback Jalen Hurts was selected 53rd overall in the third round. The current Eagles quarterback entered the NFL after playing under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama, and Lincoln Riley at the University of Oklahoma. As a rookie, NFL fans around the league were aware of the difficult situation in Philadelphia. The coaching staff knew that they found something special and played him in 15 games. Jalen Hurts then started the last four games of the season, as it appeared Philly was moving on from Carson Wentz.
The Fall of Carson Wentz
It’s no secret that Carson Wentz’s career went in a new direction after he tore his ACL in 2017. That year Carson was the favorite to win MVP before going down with an ACL injury in early December. Since then, Carson has not been the same stud player he was early in his career.
That lack of performance and pressure from the Philadelphia Eagles fan base reached its peak in 2021. GM Howie Roseman made a surprise decision in drafting Jalen Hurts in the second in the 2020 draft. From that moment on, many began to speculate that Carson’s time in Philadelphia was all but over. Flash forward to today, those people were correct.
Frankly, Carson Wentz showed that he wasn’t the right quarterback to lead a Philadelphia sports franchise during this situation. Rather than bucking up and taking the Jalen Hurts selection personally, as Michael Jordan would, Carson lost his confidence and couldn’t play competent football. To play in Philadelphia you have to have thick skin, and Carson didn’t have that “it” factor. However, it looks like Jalen Hurts does.
The Case for Hurts
The argument for Jalen Hurts is that he has the “it” factor Carson Wentz never had. As a freshman, Jalen Hurts was a successful starter for Alabama. The next year in 2017, Hurts was the man all the way until the National Championship. At halftime of the title game, Bama was down 13-0, and Saban benched his QB for true freshman Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa led a thrilling comeback as Bama ended up winning 26-23 in overtime. From that moment on, Alabama was Tua’s team.
At this point, most hot-shot QB’s would have their names in the transfer portal minutes after the game ended. Yet, Jalen is no hot-shot QB. He was the first one to celebrate with Tua during the title game after big plays and helped coach him up so they could succeed. Then, Jalen stayed with Alabama for another year fully knowing he would be a backup. Jalen’s grit and determination in the face of adversity is something that we don’t see enough these days, making him a perfect fit for Philly.
Not to mention, Jalen never forgot the game he got benched. After games at Oklahoma, Jalen would go through a full workout immediately after games. Jalen knows the feeling of losing his spot and will do anything it takes to prevent that.
I think because of the intangibles, Jalen Hurts is the future quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. It is so hard to find a guy like Jalen these days, and the Eagles would be fools to let him go. While he certainly has a ways to go in terms of his transition to the NFL, I don’t see anyone being better suited to do so than him. Jalen is a classic winner, and if the Eagles are smart they will stick with him at the helm.