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Column: Philadelphia Eagles’ indecisiveness at quarterback position poses problems

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Photo via Rick Shultz/AP.

This past season proved disastrous for the Philadelphia Eagles, although rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts locked up the starting job. The team appears to be focusing their attention on building around Hurts and addressing team needs in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. However, recent rumors suggest something entirely different, and all signs point to another QB fiasco in the making. 

In early April, general manager Howie Roseman made a push to trade up to the third pick in the NFL Draft, where the top three picks are projected to be signal-callers.

In addition, newly-appointed head coach Nick Sirianni made it clear that he is nowhere close to naming Hurts as the 2021 starting quarterback. The only other quarterback on the roster is 36-year-old Joe Flacco, whose 0-4 record and 55 percent completion rate as a starter last season does not warrant anything more than a backup role. 

Those two pieces of information are concerning when considering Philadelphia used a second round pick on Hurts only one year ago. All of a sudden, the Eagles seem willing to give up on developing their high draft pick from 2020, which would unnecessarily extend the rebuild process. 

Inconsistent quarterback play was not the only reason Philadelphia missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Eagles have massive holes at the wide receiver and linebacker positions, and there will definitely be high-end options on the board once they are on the clock with the 12th pick. Heisman winner Devonta Smith and his Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle will likely be available, as well as Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. 

For those that think Hurts isn’t the guy for the job in Philadelphia, it’s worth remembering he has only started four games in his professional career and is still adjusting due to his limited playing time in 2020. He also won’t be in much of a position to succeed if the organization refuses to surround him with talent. 

Here’s what his receiving corps would consist of if the Eagles decided to sacrifice even more draft capital to ensure another quarterback competition: former practice squad wideout Travis Fulgham, converted quarterback Greg Ward, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, an unproven Jalen Reagor and an aging Zach Ertz. 

Undeniably, the quarterback position is the most crucial in determining a team’s success. On the other hand, the NFL Draft is where teams reinforce weak areas of the roster. The Eagles are in danger of making the same mistake as last season; selecting a quarterback in the early rounds when other needs are more prominent. 

Former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz led the team to the playoffs in 2019 despite not having a 500-yard wide receiver. Instead of investing draft capital to surround Wentz (a capable quarterback) with talent, picking Hurts led to questions about what direction the organization was headed in. Faced with a similar predicament, Philly’s course of action in the 2021 NFL Draft will determine whether another quarterback controversy is in store. 

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