Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

2022 Panini Prestige Jalen Hurts. Photograph by Richard Bartlaga via

In April of 2020, the Philadelphia Eagles stepped up to the podium in the second round of the National Football League draft to make a selection that would forever shape the future of the franchise. 

In the season prior, Carson Wentz had played a solid season as quarterback; willing an injury-riddled team of practice squad heroes to a playoff berth until he finally succumbed to the injury bug himself in the Wild Card matchup against the Seahawks. The belief amongst many in the fanbase and across the league was that the plan of action for Howie Roseman and company should have been to draft weapons to surround Wentz in order to maximize a Super Bowl window that had begun to wither away following two consecutive subpar drafts including, but not limited to, JJ Arcega-Whiteside. 

The first round already hit fans right in the gut as general manager Howie Roseman decided to outsmart himself by overreaching on receiver Jalen Reagor rather than the obvious, and later drastically monumental, pick in Justin Jefferson. For context, the Vikings front office (who ended up picking Jefferson right after the Eagles pick) were seen laughing at the Eagles’ decision and understanding the best receiver of the draft had just fallen into their arms. 

Eagles fans were already in a rare mood when at pick 53, the most unthinkable pick was made: Jalen Hurts, quarterback. The emphasis was not upon “Jalen Hurts” as much as it was upon the “quarterback” element of the equation. With so many positions of need, the Eagles picked a backup quarterback. Receivers, cornerbacks, linebackers and so many more positions were on the board that could have been a better selection… or so we thought. 

What we did not know at the time (and the evidence would suggest that the front office did) is that question marks were arising around Carson Wentz’s relationship with his teammates and his ability to be the starter. Nevertheless, Hurts came into the team as the most despised draft pick in years. Again, not the person, rather the position. 

But the grit of Jalen Hurts would burn through the doubt and he would usurp Wentz as the starter after a dismal season by 11 and would ultimately force him off the team despite Wentz having just signed a mega-extension with the team. 

Jalen would go on to have a solid, but not great first year as the starter and led the team to a playoff berth where he would display his inexperience and need for improvement as he and the Eagles were shredded by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The following season, Hurts would become an MVP candidate and lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

His ability to lead a team, his raw athleticism and the everlasting chip on his shoulder earned Jalen Hurts every bit of the four year 251 million dollar contract extension he signed just last week. All throughout his football career, Hurts has been doubted. Yet each time, he has proved the doubters wrong. As an Eagles fan, I am glad to have Hurts leading the team for the foreseeable future and I know that his ceiling is only as high as his will to improve is. If anyone knows Hurts, then they know that ceiling is infinite. 

Joseph Gill is a fourth year English major with a minor in Journalism.

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