The 2 other players Eagles almost took at 53 and why they didn’t

Dave Zangaro
NBC Sports Philadelphia

On Friday night, the Eagles took quarterback Jalen Hurts with the 53rd pick, a choice that has become a lighting rod in the days to follow.

The biggest argument against taking Hurts - one that I have made quite a bit - is that the 53rd pick should have been used on a player at a different position who could have helped the Eagles immediately.

SI.com's Albert Breer has the list of two names who were on the Eagles' radar:

"And if you want something to track coming out of all this: Southern Illinois S/LB Jeremy Chinn (Panthers) and Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins (Ravens) were two players I'd heard would've been under consideration, had Hurts not been the pick at 53. Gun to my head, I say Philly would've taken Chinn in that circumstance."

Dobbins went to the Ravens at No. 55 and Chinn went to the the Panthers at No. 64.

While selecting a running back in the second round for the second consecutive season would have been surprising, that potential Chinn pick seems to jibe with something general manager Howie Roseman said on WIP Tuesday morning.

Roseman was asked about the criticism that he got "too cute" by taking Hurts at 53, but Roseman immediately brought up the low hit-rate on Day 3 quarterbacks.

"So we're always looking at the combination," Roseman said. "You pick the position, I don't want to name a player, but let's use safety because we drafted one in the fourth round, is that OK? So the combination of Jalen and K'Von Wallace vs. the combination of you pick a safety and a quarterback in the fourth round. We felt like, for us, that was a much better combination. We're excited about this kid from Clemson."

So this is interesting. Perhaps, if the Eagles chose Chinn in the second round, they would have used their fourth-round pick on a quarterback. At pick 127, where they took Wallace, the top quarterback on the board was Georgia's Jake Fromm, who didn't go until the fifth round. A few picks before 127, Washington's Jacob Eason and FIU's James Morgan were selected.

So Hurts/Wallace vs. Chinn/Fromm

Or …

Hurts/Wallace vs. Chinn/Eason or Morgan in Round 3 or with a trade-up

Which pairing would you take?

Roseman might basically be saying they preferred the combination of Hurts and Wallace over Chinn and Fromm (or at trade-up/using a third-round pick on a QB).

Putting it like that is a worthwhile sell from Roseman. After all, the chances Wallace becomes a good safety as a fourth-rounder are probably statistically better than a fourth-round quarterback working out.

But this combination comparison only works if you look at it through the Eagles' lens, which is to say that backup quarterback was a pressing need. Given those two options, I'd still rather have the position player who will probably have an impact earlier, but this is at least a window into the Eagles' thought process.

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