The Philadelphia Eagles appear committed to making Jalen Hurts their starting quarterback in 2021, giving the second-round draft pick every opportunity to succeed in his new role. Per ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has prioritized making Hurts successful in 2021 instead of creating a true competition for the job.
"Lurie has basically sent the message to his personnel department and his general manager Howie Roseman that he wants to do everything he can to help Jalen Hurts be successful and not bring in somebody to compete for the job," Mortensen said on ESPN. "Now they have a new head coach in Nick Sirianni, he understands what the owner wants, the owner gets."
Hurts is the only quarterback currently on the Eagles roster. The team agreed to trade Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts last month and Nate Sudfeld is a free agent, so adding a quarterback in free agency or the draft is expected. Philadelphia could always bring Sudfeld back to be Hurts' backup, but there are better options in free agency that can challenge Hurts for the job or are security blankets in case Hurts struggles in 2021.
That's not what Lurie has in mind with the quarterback that replaced Wentz the final four games of the season. Hurts started for the Eagles after being used in a Taysom Hill-type role the first 12 games of the season, only throwing three passes before replacing Wentz for good in Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers. In his four starts, Hurts completed 51.9% of his passes (69 for 133) for 919 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions for a 77.2 passer rating. Hurts also had 46 carries for 272 yards and three touchdowns in those four starts.
Hurts is the only quarterback since 1950 to throw for over 800 yards and rush for over 200 in yards in his first three starts, which is impressive considering the Eagles had just Isaac Seumalo and Jason Kelce as starters on the offensive line. Philadelphia was down to a backup left tackle in Jordan Mailata (who played well enough to be the starter in 2021) with Nate Herbig at right guard (backup) and Matt Pryor at right tackle (third string). The Eagles will be getting Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson back on the right side of the line, which will help Hurts tremendously in his development.
Whether Lurie should be involved in personnel decisions as significant as the franchise quarterback is questionable, but the front office has every right to see what Hurts has in a rebuilding season in 2021. If Hurts exceeds expectations, the Eagles rebuilding project may not take as long as expected.
The Eagles owe it to the franchise to see what Hurts has to offer before they rush to the podium and create another quarterback dilemma in this year's draft. That's not what Lurie wants, perhaps learning from the Wentz fiasco last year.