Jalen Hurts is QB1. The Eagles Should Bring In a Veteran to “Compete” With Him and Not Pick a QB at 6.
As it stands right now, Jalen Hurts is QB1. With all he has been through and with the maturity and leadership he has shown he has earned the chance to go out there and prove it, right?
The Eagles have signaled that they plan to bring in a quarterback to compete with him for the job. Often in the NFL, when a guy is brought in to “compete” with the starting quarterback it is understood that the new player is not truly competing to beat out the starter, but is there to push the starter. There is speculation that the Eagles might be targeting a quarterback in the first round, at the sixth overall pick, to “compete” with Jalen Hurts for the starting job. The Eagles should not pick a quarterback at six under any circumstances unless they see that pick as a long-term franchise quarterback. Using a top ten pick for a player to “compete” would be a historically bad decision. That role is what veteran free agents are for.
First, teams in the NFL do not use number six overall picks to select players to “compete” for starting jobs. Picks in the top ten selections of the draft are consistently used for players a team believes will contribute and start right away. I thought using a second-round pick last year on a quarterback to compete was misguided but using a number six overall pick for a player to compete is beyond misguided. If the Eagles choose a quarterback at number six it has to be a player they plan to start right away. Otherwise, you are setting up a situation where the team could choose a quarterback at the six pick to “compete” and then does not even see the playing field if Hurts outplays him. Using a number six pick for a player that could end up on the bench would be one of the worst draft decisions in recent history. If the Eagles want to purely bring someone in to compete with and push Hurts that is what veteran free agents are for.
The Eagles have made it known they plan to bring in a quarterback to compete with Jalen Hurts. Picking a QB at number 6 just to compete is too high and a disservice to Hurts’ development. Therefore, a veteran free agent quarterback makes the most sense. Jacoby Brissett played for Nick Sirianni and has had a history of being a quality backup. Brissett could absolutely help push Hurts in camp as well as assist in helping Hurts acclimate to the new offense. Another option could be Tyrod Taylor who played for new Eagles offensive coordinator Steve Steichen. The history with Steichen is another option that could help assist Hurts with the new offense. Additionally, Taylor was a great backup to rookie Justin Herbert. You have to think that his presence in the locker room was helpful in pushing Herbert to Offensive Rookie of the Year. The third option that does not necessarily have great connections to the new coaching staff but could be a fun time is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpartrick could be a great backup helping Hurst develop his game and if needed for a game or two due to injury could be decent.
NFL teams need reliable backup quarterbacks and we in Philadelphia know this better than most. However, using a number six overall pick on a quarterback to “compete” for the job would be a disservice to this team overall and to Jalen Hurts. If you pick a quarterback that high then that player is now the franchise quarterback. If you believe Jalen Hurts has the potential to be a franchise quarterback and you want to develop him to be the best he can be, you need to surround him with high-draft-pick-talent and bring in a veteran free agent to push him in camp.