Four days after the Carson Wentz trade and the Philadelphia Eagles are making headlines again. It’s been rumored that Philly are seriously considering taking a quarterback with the sixth pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. This news comes after last year’s draft, where the Eagles took former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round. Wouldn’t you think after this Wentz trade that Jalen would be the guy going forward? Why would the Eagles bring in another quarterback and start the soap opera all over again?
With that being said, here are three reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles shouldn’t take a quarterback with the sixth pick in the draft.
1. They would be reaching.
By the time the Eagles got to pick at six, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson would be off the board. If Philly wanted to get one of those three quarterbacks, they would have to trade up. Based on this season’s quarterback situations so far, the asking price to move up into the top three will be astronomical. If they stay at six, the next best on the board would be North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. At that point do you really go all in on a guy with such a short resume? Lance only played 18 collegiate games during his time at NDSU as a freshman and a sophomore.
Instead of reaching for a rookie, Philly needs to go out and sign a veteran QB in free agency that Jalen Hurts can learn and benefit from. When the Eagles figure out their cap situation, the ideal candidate would be Ryan Fitzpatrick. The former Harvard graduate has sixteen seasons under his belt, and has played for eight different teams over his career, which means he’s been around a lot of offensive systems. Fitzpatrick’s last contract with the Miami Dolphins was $11 million for two years, so he could come in at a friendly price for Philadelphia. Not only does Ryan Fitzpatrick have the experience and knowledge to help Jalen Hurts progress, but he would be a solid backup that has the potential to win games if Hurts were to go down with an injury.
2. They have much bigger needs
To draft a quarterback at six would be so wasteful considering the fact that there will be two players the Eagles can select that will address their major needs at wide receiver and cornerback. The first player would have to be Alabama’s DeVonta Smith. In 2020, the Crimson Tide receiver broke eight records on the way to winning a national championship, including most receiving yards in a single SEC season and most receiving touchdowns in FBS history. Not only that, Smith became just the fourth wide receiver in history to win the Heisman Trophy. Smith would provide Jalen Hurts and this Eagles offense a number-one receiver, something they’ve desperately needed for the past couple of seasons.
The next player would have to be ’Bama corner Patrick Surtain II. Last season, Surtain racked up 22 solo tackles and 12 pass deflections, which earned him SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors. If drafted to Philadelphia, he would be paired with first-year defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Gannon’s claim to fame was his success at developing corners and safeties as Indianapolis’ secondary coach. Paring a young corner like Surtain with a mind like Gannon’s should only spell nothing but success for the Eagles. This would give them the potential pairing of Darius Slay and Surtain, while moving Avonte Maddox into the slot where he’s best fit.
3. They have enough to worry about
Between the cap space situation, offensive and defensive needs along with a first year head coach, the Eagles have a lot of work to do for this upcoming season. Drafting a quarterback at six would just be another problem Philly would have to deal with. How would Jalen Hurts feel about the situation? The last thing Philly needs is another messy quarterback situation where Hurts would want out.
Along with that, drafting a quarterback in that position would be a lot of pressure on first-year coach Nick Sirianni. If you take a guy that high, he’s expected to start. In this case the Eagles would be stuck in a QB competition for the starting job. That’s a lose-lose situation because if Philly brings a QB in it shows that they’re not sold on Jalen, which then creates a weird dynamic before the season even starts. On the other hand, if Jalen beats this guy out, you’re stuck with a rookie QB when you could’ve addressed other needs.
It’s really simple: this season is about getting healthy, assessing and building this team going forward. The Eagles were so dangerous in 2017 because they were a well rounded team with depth in every position, especially on offense. In my eyes, Jalen is the guy going forward and there should be no doubt about that. Now it’s about getting him some offensive weapons, along with a healthy offensive line, to help him produce.