The Philadelphia Eagles threw a serious curveball with their second-round draft pick on Friday night, using the 53rd overall selection on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. Some have called it a waste of resources, what with starting QB Carson Wentz firmly entrenched as the franchise signal-caller and the offense still in need of firepower for 2020. Some have suggested Hurts could be featured in a role similar to the New Orleans Saints' Taysom Hill. But it appears the Eagles could be planning something even more drastic: Full-on two-QB packages.
First and foremost, the former Alabama standout is insurance for Wentz, who started all 16 games in 2019 but has suffered several serious injuries during his four years in the NFL. There's a chance, down the road, Hurts could also have trade value for the Eagles, who've schooled and then pawned off backups in the past. According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, however, one of the swaying factors in Philly's decision to take Hurts was the possibility of seriously implementing dual-QB packages.
"Taysom Hill (package) on steroids," one source familiar with the Eagles' draft evaluations told Yahoo Sports.
A source with specific insight on the Hurts selection said there was some offensive evolution in mind -- as well as this pick being a stiff lean into the coaching staff's preference. That's what ultimately led to the Hurts pick, allowing head coach Doug Pederson to groom a talented backup to starter Carson Wentz while potentially lining up some two-quarterback packages that have been on the Eagles' mind since last offseason's passing program.
Press Taylor, the Eagles' QBs coach and new passing game coordinator, went on record suggesting two-QB systems could be part of the future NFL while addressing media prior to the 2019 season. At the time, though, he seemed to be simply offering a distant possibility rather than a specific strategy for his team.
Even so, former Eagles executive Joe Banner has essentially echoed Robinson's report about a Wentz-Hurts combo, saying Saturday "there is no way the Eagles used a second pick to (just) have their Taysom Hill." The more likely use for Hurts, he speculated, would be akin to Lamar Jackson's role with the Baltimore Ravens during his 2018 rookie season. When Joe Flacco was still the Ravens' starter, Jackson saw occasional reps alongside Flacco, throwing 12 passes and taking 29 carries through his first nine games.
Expecting any monumental change in Doug Pederson's offense seems like a stretch, especially if the offseason is further disrupted by the ongoing pandemic. But if the early signs are any indication, Hurts isn't going to spend all of his rookie year strapped to the bench.