What should the Eagles do if Jalen Hurts has a mediocre 2022 season?

By: Jeremy Trottier

The Philadelphia Eagles have an interesting decision to make, and it will likely have to come in the next offseason or two. Is Jalen Hurts their franchise quarterback? This is the question they must answer sooner rather than later. The 2020 2nd-round pick has shown flashes of elite potential so far in his career with his ability to escape pressure and throw on the move. However, he lacks true accuracy at times, having a 59% completion rate over his first two seasons, and 13 interceptions to 22 passing touchdowns. The Eagles will give Hurts the reins for 2022, but with an exceptional 2023 quarterback class, and some others potentially on the move, they need to consider their alternatives after this year. In this article, I will be going over some of their options if Hurts does not prove himself in 2022, as well as which I believe would be the most beneficial.

2023 NFL Draft selections

The most likely scenario, if the Eagles were to replace Hurts, would be drafting one from the 2023 draft class. As of right now, there are two very good quarterbacks who are likely to go first round based on previous years, those being Bryce Young of Alabama and C.J. Stroud of OSU. Since the Eagles have 2 first round picks, both their own and one from the New Orleans Saints, they could trade up into the higher range of the draft and select one of them. Since we are presuming that Hurts has a bad/suboptimal 2022 in this article, this would leave the Eagles with a top 20 pick or so more than likely.

Aside from Stroud and Young, there is also a few other quarterbacks who could potentially go in the first round if they prove themselves in 2022. This would be more optimal if the Eagles wanted to stay with their two first round picks, and make another selection other than QB at the 2nd pick. Some of these options include:

  • Spencer Rattler – South Carolina (provided he has a huge resurgence)
  • Anthony Richardson – Florida
  • Kedon Slovis – Pitt
  • Will Levis – Kentucky
  • Tyler Van Dyke – Miami
  • Caleb Williams – USC

While not all of these are guaranteed first rounders, they each have a chance to prove their worth and become one.

2023 NFL Free Agency/Trading

The other option for Philadelphia would be signing a quarterback in 2023 free agency, or trading for one. As of right now, there is one big name quarterback yet to be signed, that being Lamar Jackson. The former MVP and leader of the Baltimore Ravens has not been locked up to an extension as of yet, and previously said he will focus on the season first and the contract later. This is obviously an immediate upgrade over Jalen Hurts, but they also have somewhat similar playstyles with their ability to make plays on the run and improvise as they go. This would allow Philly to not necessarily change their scheme or offense heavily, and would also give Lamar weapons to throw to in Dallas Goedert, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith. Some of the other QB free agents in 2023 include:

  • Tom Brady (provided he does not retire) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
  • Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers
  • Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers
  • Daniel Jones – New York Giants
  • Teddy Bridgewater – Miami Dolphins
  • Drew Lock – Seattle Seahawks

Overall, it is not necessarily a phenomenal QB free agency class, but Lamar Jackson makes up for it as of the writing of this article. On the other hand, you have quarterbacks who may want to leave their current teams via trade. One such option potentially would be Kyler Murray, as he has been back and forth this offseason on social media talking about wanting an extension. Rumors have been flying that he may eventually want out, we will see where that goes. Regardless, a young and high quality quarterback such as Murray would be a great addition for Philly, provided they can get him for a reasonable package of picks and/or players.

Jalen Hurts: Dynasty Outlook

What is the dynasty outlook of Jalen Hurts?

By: Chris Moore (Twitter: @fantasy_moore)

Let’s start with the obvious, Jalen Hurts is the Quarterback of the future for the Eagles. Carson Wentz was atrocious for the Eagles this season, and it was clear a change needed to happen at the Quarterback position. 

Hurts picked up a signature win for the Eagles in his first start against the Saints in Week 14, throwing for 167 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing 18 times for 106 yards. Against the Saints, Hurts showed the NFL how dangerous he is as a dual-threat. He provided the Eagles depleted offense with a new spark that they so desperately needed. Hurts then started the rest of the season for the Eagles and looks to be the Eagles starter for the next years to come.

ATHLETICISM

There is no question Jalen Hurts is very athletic, as the Eagles themselves pictured Hurts playing the Taysom Hill role for them when they drafted him. 

We saw a small sample size this season of what Jalen Hurts can bring to an NFL offense. Looking at the player profiler, Hurts’ 40-yard dash and burst scores are above the 90th percentile for Quarterbacks. Both of these scores are considered extraordinary for a quarterback. In his four starts, Hurts has shown how athletic he is with his legs. He isn’t quite Lamar Jackson, but Jalen Hurts is a threat with his legs: Rushing for 354 yards and three touchdowns in four starts. 

COLLEGIATE PRODUCTION 

Jalen Hurts’ collegiate career consisted of monotonous ups and downs. Hurts had a strong freshman season for Alabama but was benched for teammate Tua Tagovailoa at the end of his second season. 

Hurts then transferred to Oklahoma, where he put up career-best numbers in Lincoln Riley’s offense. Hurts threw for 3,851 yards and 32 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. 

Hurts had his best college season at Oklahoma, finishing second in the Heisman voting for the 2019 campaign. Hurts would finish his collegiate career with 9,477 passing yards, 80 passing touchdowns, and 20 interceptions. Hurts was no stranger to finding the end zone throughout his college career, and we are seeing that translate in the NFL. 

2020 season (per Pro Football Reference)

4 Games Started 

77 Completions on 148 Attempts 

1061 Passing Yards 

6 Passing Touchdowns 

4 Interceptions 

63 Rushing Attempts for 354 yards and 3 Rushing Touchdowns 

Fantasy QB35 on the season (112.5 total points)

FANTASY UPSIDE

He only started four games for the Eagles this year, but Hurts showed the kind of fantasy upside he can have if he played a full year. 

In weeks 14-17 Hurts was the seventh best fantasy Quarterback, outscoring Justin Herbert, Deshaun Watson, and Russell Wilson, to name a few. Hurts showed the league how dangerous he is with his legs, rushing 63 times for 354 yards and three touchdowns in his four starts. 

Jalen Hurts has the upside to finish as the highest fantasy scoring QB in any week, as he did this season in Week 15. Hurts finished as the highest-scoring fantasy Quarterback in Week 15 against the Cardinals, completing 24 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Hurts also had 63 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, proving he has QB1 upside anytime he touches the field.

FUTURE OUTLOOK

The only thing that is going to be stopping Jalen Hurts from fantasy stardom is the Eagles. There have been reports that Carson Wentz could be back for the Eagles next season since he is still under contract, but I don’t expect that to happen. I believe Carson Wentz will be traded this off-season as his relationship with the Eagles organization and Doug Pederson doesn’t seem mendable. The Eagles also look like they are committing to Jalen Hurts for the future, and the Carson Wentz era in Philadelphia appears to be over. 

 Jalen Hurts is the future for the Eagles at the quarterback position, and I think they will realize that this off-season. There’s no question the Eagles need to get Hurts some playmakers on the offense and fix the offensive line. But that should be addressed this off-season, and with the number six pick in the draft.

 With that being said Hurts is a buy right now for me. In his four starts, Hurts finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback in every week but week 17.  Hurts’ rushing floor will make him a top-15 fantasy quarterback option each week and is why I view Jalen Hurts as a top 12 fantasy quarterback in 2021. 

Hurts is my QB12 right behind Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. He showed us in four games this year what his fantasy ceiling can be, and I would be looking to buy him in any leagues I need a quarterback. The Eagles offense will only get better in the upcoming years, and we could potentially be seeing Jalen Hurts throwing to  DeVonta Smith or Ja’Marr Chase next season. If he plays 16 games for the Eagles in 2021, Hurts will finish as a top-10 fantasy QB.  

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