Eagles cause stir among fans with their first two picks

Each year the NFL draft is filled with expectations, unknowns and surprises. This year was no different.

Filling the needs of the team, Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman used the draft to strengthen some much needed positions, but these picks caused an uproar among fans.
During the beginning of the draft, Roseman addressed the wide receiver position that created a little stir among fans.
In the first round of the draft with the 21st pick, the Eagles selected Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs wide receiver Jalen Reagor..
The 21-year-old, 5’11” receiver, in his junior year with TCU, had 43 receptions for 611 yards for five touchdowns averaging 14.2 yards per catch.
Although he’s a smaller player, at the NFL combine he ran 4.47 40-yard dash but then ran 4.22 at a virtual NFL draft pro day, beating Henry Ruggs’ time at the combine who had the fastest time at 4.27 seconds.
This pick, like many, came with some controversy because the Eagles had a chance to draft the NCAAs most productive receiver, Justin Jefferson. Jefferson had 18 touchdowns in his final year with Louisiana State University (LSU) and went 22nd overall to the Minnesota Vikings.
However, a large part of the reason why Reagor has had a decrease in production was due to poor quarterback play.
According to ESPN, only 59.8% of passes to Reagor were considered catchable last season which ranked 426th out of 436 qualified FBS players (NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision). Out of those passes, only 31% of them were thrown with good accuracy.
Compared to Reagor, Jefferson was catching 69% percent of passes thrown with good accuracy from who turned into the number one overall pick in the draft, quarterback Joe Burrow.
With Reagor’s speed and route running, he’s a more natural fit for the Eagles. He can line up to the outside and present a deep threat like wide receiver Desean Jackson, who the Eagles greatly missed this season due to injury.
As a serious threat, he has the ability to push safeties back which opens up area for tight ends and underneath receivers. He’s also effective on running screen plays and jet sweeps.
Then, in the second round, the Eagles made what is possibly the most controversial pick in Eagles history which caused a turmoil among fans, at 53 overall selecting quarterback out of Oklahoma State Jalen Hurts quarterback.
This pick comes from after last season where the Eagles decided to give Carson Wentz a four-year $128 million extension.
The pick is controversial because teams usually select a quarterback who will eventually become their starter, not a back up.
Before the Eagles made the pick, they did inform Wentz that they may pick up Hurts in the draft.
“We just wanted him to understand that we value the quarterback position extremely high here in Philadelphia,” Head Coach Doug Pederson said in an interview with NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico. “But we also understand and wanted him to understand that we’re going to continue to evaluate quarterbacks, and continue to draft quarterbacks every year.”
Roseman, in a press conference, reassured fans that Wentz is the quarterback of the future.
“We’ve shown how we feel about Carson by our actions, we showed it by the amount of picks we put into him and we showed it by the contract extension and we believe this is a guy to lead us to our next Super Bowl Championship,” Roseman said.
He also said that they want to be quarterback developers and a “quarterback factory” to have a quarterback ready to play in the NFL. Also, the Eagles need a backup given Wentz’s injury history.
“No team in the National Football League has benefited more from developing quarterbacks than the Philadelphia Eagles,” Roseman said.
This is especially true because the Eagles won the Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles.
Jalen Hurts is not Nick Foles. When the Eagles signed Nick Foles back in 2017, he wasn’t a rookie because he had five years of experience in the NFL.
If the Eagles wanted a better backup quarterback than Nate Sudfeld for this season, they would have signed a more experienced quarterback in the offseason like Joe Flacco, who wouldn’t cost as much and who would be ready to play in case something happens, not a quarterback out of college.
And that would’ve been better for this season because Hurts still has a lot to improve on to become an NFL ready quarterback.
And that’s going to be tough to get him prepared and trained for this upcoming season with a shortened offseason due to COVID-19.
Pederson has also said that they will explore using Hurts in the way they use quarterback and utility player Taysom Hill, who can play multiple positions and line up on the field with Wentz to run plays, but Pederson has said he’s still going to be a quarterback.
“He was drafted as a quarterback and he was a quarterback first. But he has a unique skill set. He’s a great runner, obviously,” Pederson said to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He throws well on the run. He has a unique set of skills that we’re going to take a look at as well as we keep developing this offseason.”