It was a surprise to plenty when the Philadelphia Eagles swooped on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson explained that Hurts was taken for his “unique set of skills” and dropped the trending comparison to Saints secret weapon Taysom Hill.
Thus, Hurts earning the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Carson Wentz was perhaps unlikely.
With the plethora of changes and lack of offseason work due to the COVID-19 pandemic making it all the more difficult for rookies to get up to speed, it's made the likelihood of Nate Sudfeld holding the backup spot and Hurts being the third-stringer for the Eagles all but a certainty.
"It is probably a little more difficult with the quarterback position because with Carson and Nate, making sure these two guys get the reps they need," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday on 94 WIP Sports Radio. "You have to make sure Jalen is comfortable with the playbook and understands what we are doing as an offense, so the evaluation process might take a little bit longer with the quarterback, but we are going to do everything we can to make sure all of our guys are prepared. Jalen is no different."
Though Wentz is coming off an under-the-radar excellent season in which he played every game for the Eagles, with his injury history and the ongoing worries about the coronavirus, the backup QB spot is all the more important. Though Hurts brings athleticism and versatility unseen by most quarterbacks in the NFL, giving him time to get acclimated after an unprecedented offseason is obvious, just as getting Sudfeld as many reps as possible is.
Sudfeld has been with the franchise since 2017, though a broken wrist prevented him from any playing time last year.
Hurts is coming into Philadelphia after a scintillating senior season at Oklahoma in which he had 53 total touchdowns, including 20 on the ground and one receiving.
Though the prospects of what Hurts can do or add to the Eagles offense are exciting, the reality is Sudfeld needs to be ready and Hurts needs to learn the system. Thus, for now, it appears Sudfeld will be backing up Wentz.