2015 NFL Draft

Eagles drafting Jalen Hurts wasn’t about replacing Carson Wentz

The Philadelphia Eagles weren’t attempting to replace Carson Wentz when they drafted Jalen Hurts. They were trying to help him.

Many eyebrows were raised both in Philadelphia and nationally about the pick. After all, taking a quarterback in the second round is a significant investment and something almost unheard of when the starter is a young star locked into a lucrative deal.

Still, general manager Howie Roseman’s move made sense. Wentz is terrific, but he’s had injury problems. Since his rookie year of 2016, Wentz has missed nine regular-season games and was knocked out of last year’s NFC Wild Card loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a concussion.

The selection of Hurts essentially gives Philadelphia a viable option as a backup quarterback. Should Wentz miss some time midseason with an ailment, the Eagles have a much better chance of surviving.

This is something Wentz seemed to understand when talking to reporters recently. The 27-year-old not only embraced the new addition, but also talked about the injection of pure talent into the roster, according to NFL.com:

“I’ve heard nothing but great things about Jalen, the player that he is. Got a chance to talk to him just briefly. So I’m excited to add him to the fold and create a really good, healthy, competitive, challenging environment for all of us. Excited to add him to the fold.”

After winning the NFC East last year with a 9-7 mark, Philadelphia is hoping to ride a healthier campaign to greater heights. Wentz, of course, is the start of said journey. Beyond him, though, are a new receiver in rookie Jalen Reagor and an old one in veteran DeSean Jackson. Jackson and Wentz had fantastic chemistry in September last year before Jackson was lost for the season.

In the meantime, Hurts can learn from the sideline and in the classroom. In a perfect world for Roseman, the former Oklahoma and Alabama star would never have to take a snap from center during the 2020 campaign, allowing him to soak up the pro game while holding a clipboard.

For the Eagles, Hurts was never about coming in and challenging Wentz in any real way. It was always about making sure they had an insurance policy at the game’s — and perhaps all of American sports — most important position, giving the team a greater chance to succeed.

From that vantage point, it’s hard to argue with the logic.

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