The Eagles' selection of Jalen Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft caught plenty of people by surprise. It turns out Hurts was one of those people. Drafted 53rd overall just one year after Philadelphia extended quarterback Carson Wentz on a $128 million contract, the former Alabama and Oklahoma signal-caller revealed this week on Jason and Travis Kelce's "New Heights" podcast that he never expected to land in Philadelphia. Not only that, but he was convinced the NFL's other Pennsylvania team would pick him.
"I thought I was going to Pittsburgh," Hurts said. "So when I saw (a Pennsylvania number on my phone), I thought, 'This is it.' (Then) they said the Philadelphia Eagles. ... I had no idea I would come here. I had no idea."
Hurts also mentioned the Vikings as a team he expected to be a potential landing spot going into the 2020 draft, because of where Minnesota was picking in the second round (No. 58). Asked if he had any inclination the Eagles were seriously interested, the third-year veteran made it clear he did not.
"I had no idea. I had an interview with them at the draft, but from the interview, I didn't think I was gonna be an Eagle. I didn't know. When my number got called, I was just like, 'Let's go.'"
Both the Eagles and Steelers would surely be in different places had the draft unfolded as Hurts expected. Philly is the NFL's last unbeaten team in 2022, with Hurts among potential MVP candidates. The Steelers, meanwhile, are on track for coach Mike Tomlin's first-ever losing season while starting rookie Kenny Pickett, the team's handpicked successor to Ben Roethlisberger.