Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has emerged as one of the game’s top quarterbacks, leading the team to a perfect 8-0 start heading into Week 10.
Many were stunned when the Eagles drafted Hurts with the No. 53 selection in the 2020 Draft. They already had a starting quarterback in Carson Wentz, who had just signed a four-year, $128 million extension less than a year ago.
Turns out, even Hurts himself wasn’t exactly expecting the Eagles to select him.
Appearing on the “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce” podcast (h/t Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports), Hurts stated that when he saw a phone call incoming from Pennsylvania, he assumed that he was getting drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I thought I was going to Pittsburgh,” Hurts said. “So when I saw (a Pennsylvania number), I thought, ‘This is it.’ (Then) they said the Philadelphia Eagles…I had no idea I would come here. I had no idea.”
Hurts added that he did have an interview with the Eagles, but he “didn’t think” they were going to draft him. At any rate, it’s safe to say that Hurts and the organization are thrilled with how things turned out.
Wentz, the No. 2 pick of the 2016 draft, rapidly regressed over the 2020 season. With the playoff hopes essentially done for, Philly head coach Doug Pederson decided to give Hurts the starting job late in the year.
The Eagles traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2021 offseason, opening the door for Hurts to step in as the full-time starter. He finished the 2021 campaign with 3,144 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions to go along with 784 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Hurts led the Eagles to a wild card spot with a 9-8 record, but they were dispatched by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round. Philly saw enough to make Hurts the starter again in 2023, and they certainly aren’t regretting it.
Hurts is among the top MVP favorites with Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) and Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills). He has 2,042 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 326 rushing yards and six rushing scores.