NFL Draft: should the Eagles keep the QB factory going?
The Eagles should draft a QB in the upcoming NFL Draft. They should draft not just any quarterback; they should draft New Jersey native quarterback Kenny Pickett.
If you listen to Honorable Mention or follow along on Twitter, you know very well that I am supportive of
Jalen Hurts continuing to be the Eagles’ starting QB. When Aaron Rodgers was rumored to be available, I wanted to continue with Jalen Hurts. When DeShaun Watson and Russell Wilson were rumored to be available in a trade — which they were — I wanted to continue with Jalen Hurts.
Regardless of advocating for the Eagles’ drafting of Kenny Pickett from Pittsburgh, I continue to want Jalen Hurts to be the Eagles’ starting quarterback.
A couple of years back, when the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts under the auspices of wanting the franchise to be a “QB factory”, they were laughed at. In retrospect, it actually was a genius move. While the franchise was completely bought in on Carson Wentz — to the point that they shipped out their Super Bowl MVP QB to satiate him and his interest in not competing for a starting job — they went and got a low-cost insurance policy.
That insurance policy now calls plays in the huddle wearing #1 and his name is Jalen Hurts. For the
record, that guy also made the Pro Bowl and ran for ten touchdowns last season.
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The reality is: even steadfast supporters of Jalen Hurts, like me, recognize that he hasn’t yet taken that Justin Herbert/Joe Burrow type of next step in his evolution. He very much could. However, if he doesn’t, the Eagles are going to be stuck as a middling team in a conference that is there for the taking with the exodus of QB talent going to the AFC.
Even if Jalen Hurts does take that big step, he plays a physical style of football that includes a heavy dose of QB Power that could lead to an injury sidelining him. Then what? Minshewmania in Philadelphia was as fun as it was short — rightfully. However, there is no serious football analyst that would give the Eagles a chance to make noise with Gardner Minshew.
Kenny Pickett is a different story. The Eagles have major needs at LB, S, and CB2, but you can’t go anywhere without a QB. To get Pickett, the Eagles would likely have to give up a top 20 pick. “HAVE YOU SEEN HOW SMALL HIS HANDS ARE?”
Yes, I have. Did you know Mark Sanchez’s hands are some of the biggest in NFL history — bigger than …
Nick? Did you know Jim Druckenmiller, who threw only 1 TD in his entire career, had the biggest hands in NFL history? While we’re talking about hands, did you know that Tom Brady’s hands are 9.38 inches — as are those of Aaron Rodgers?
Can you believe how silly the conversation we’re having is? During Kenny Pickett’s college career, he compiled an unreal 136.3 QB rating. Last season, Pickett improved his completion percentage from 61.1% to 67.1%. On his way to coming in 3rd place in Heisman voting.
Kenny Pickett’s 2021 season:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 21, 2022
🥇 92.1 Passing Grade (best by an ACC QB since 2014)
🥇 42 passing TDs (1st)
🥇 78.8% Adjusted Completion % (1st)pic.twitter.com/CKD2SdK7c3
The Eagles absolutely should not use their TOP pick on a QB, but if Pickett is still on the board at 19 — which is their third first-round pick — the Eagles can get a great insurance policy for 2022 and possibly the QB of the future should Jalen Hurts not take the step that people like me hope he does. In that case, the Birds would have Pickett under contract for three additional years.
Added bonus: he’s an Eagles fan and grew up rooting for Donovan McNabb, so he has reason to be patient for his opportunity to take the reins in Lincoln Financial Field.
Add in the fact that the Eagles took Kenny Pickett to dinner before his Pro Day, I’d say they’re pretty interested. The NFL is a QB-driven league and you can always get value for QBs later. Keep the QB factory churning!
(FULL DISCLOSURE: Kenny Pickett’s fake slide last season was Busch League and I called it out as such in real time.)
Kenny Pickett hit the fake-slide 🤧pic.twitter.com/8f4VoUtxV4— PFF (@PFF) December 5, 2021
Mandatory Credit: Justin Berl | Getty Images