By Peter Gleason
So, are the Eagles comfortable with Jalen Hurts?
If not, they can take a quarterback at No. 6 in the April NFL draft.
For the Eagles, trading Carson Wentz comes with a massive salary cap hit in the form of $33.8 million in dead money.
The lame-asses in thelocal media told you that Doug Pederson’s firing was an indicator that the Eagles were choosing Wentz over the former coach.
The Eagles pick No. 6 overall in the first round. They also now have the Colts’ third-round pick (No. 85 overall) via the Wentz trade, along with picks in every other round except Round 4. (They have an additional fifth-rounder from the Dallas Cowboys and are likely to receive three Day 3 compensatory picks, likely in Rounds 6 and 7.)
By our count, that will give the Eagles 11 selections overall this year. They also acquired Indy’s second-rounder in 2022, which can turn into a first-round pick if Wentz plays enough this coming season.
That’s a pretty good stockpile with which to work. But there’s still the question of how the Eagles assess their QB situation.
On the one hand, trading Wentz clearly means the Eagles see something in Jalen Hurts, who started the final four games of last season and seemed to give them a bit of a burst of energy. But the final results were far from perfect, even for a rookie quarterback.
Are the Eagles happy enough with Hurts to not draft a QB with the sixth pick? We can’t say that definitively.
We also can’t imagine the collective reaction of Eagles fans if they did somehow draft a QB at six, but it’s a scenario that can’t be ruled out.
Our best guess is that they’ll do their due diligence on the draft’s top QB prospects. They likely will emerge from that process with one, maybe two, who could be to their liking.
Drafting a QB at six does put you back in a similar spot at last year, with two young quarterbacks being pitted against one another with the hopes that one pans out. But passing on one there also levies a lot of trust on Hurts and leaves the Eagles shorthanded if he gets hurt or struggles.
Trading down certainly is an option, and you’d have to assume the aim would be to accumulate more 2022 picks than selections this season, unless the Eagles believe their 11 picks are not suitable to fill all the holes on the roster. There are questions at receiver, cornerback, linebacker, safety and perhaps edge rusher and running back, too. Being in the cap spot they’re in, other need positions could emerge as well.
Trading up? That would only be for a quarterback, we’d assume, and it would indicate that Hurts isn’t the future — and perhaps that the Eagles aren’t that fond, at first glance, at the 2022 draft options at the position. It also would signal an even bigger rebuild in the short term, even for the morass that has been the NFC East the past few years.
But staying at six and taking a non-QB — such as one of the top wideouts — still remains the safe and steady option. It’s just not the route we can fully guarantee they’ll take.