Jalen Hurts has led the Philadelphia Eagles onto the football field 16 times. Over that time, everyone has asked if he’s the next franchise quarterback.
Some fans have brought into the idea that Hurts is the long-term answer. While others are more inclined to think that the Eagles should acquire a quarterback in the offseason. However, most fans would agree that Hurts is a talented player who is still in the early stages of his career as an NFL quarterback.
The young quarterback is fundamentally sound with smooth footwork. He extends plays and moves around the pocket when he needs to. Hurts also throws the ball with good timing and rhythm while also taking what the defense gives him by hitting his check downs.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 1, 2021
However, some fans and analysts have raised concern over Hurts’ arm talent. If you put on the game film, you will see some underthrown passes from Hurts. But that does not automatically equal the young quarterback having a weak arm. Some of those underthrown balls have been a result of Hurts missing a pass due to accuracy issues or making a poor decision.
This season, the 23-year-old quarterback has an on-target percentage of 77.8, which is an improvement from his rookie season (60.7%) in 2020. On-target percentage measures the percentage of on-target throws per pass attempt, excluding spikes and throwaways. Even though Hurts isn’t launching footballs 70-plus yards in the air every week, he still has enough arm to hit any throw that he needs to.
That being said, Hurts’ athletic ability has been an enormous part of Philadelphia’s offensive game plan throughout this season. He has attempted 122 rushes for 695 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns.
Hurts’ usage rate in the running game likely won’t be sustainable for the best interest of his long-term career. However, Hurts’ athletic ability will always remain a strong part of his game.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 21, 2021
As we’ve seen throughout the season, head coach Nick Sirianni has made improvements in the traditional run game to take some of the offensive burdens off of Hurts’ shoulders.
Over the last six games, we’ve seen Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, and Kenny Gainwell toting the rock multiple times. If the Eagles continue to build around the Hurts on offense, then we should see those rushing attempts for Hurts slowly start to decrease.
However, with the potential of three first-round draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s been speculation regarding the Eagles’ level of interest in rookie quarterbacks. They’ll likely have a high enough draft pick to acquire one of the top prospects and certainly would have enough ammo to make a trade happen.
But starting over with a rookie next season, in a class that many analysts think does not have a true number one quarterback prospect, feels like a gamble. Instead, the best route would be to take the rest of the season and continue developing Hurts in the best way possible.