NFL draft 2020: Eagles failed Carson Wentz by drafting Jalen Hurts

Dave Zangaro
NBC Sports Philadelphia

They didn't help Carson. In fact, they did the opposite. 

That's what I'm left with as we all wake up and realize we weren't dreaming. The Eagles really did use their second-round pick on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. 

The Eagles have a 27-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback in Carson Wentz. They gave him a $128 million contract less than a year ago. The Eagles owed it to themselves, their fans and Wentz himself to surround him with talent to try to win Super Bowls. 

They failed him. Plain and simple. 

Instead of drafting a receiver or a linebacker or a safety or a cornerback or an edge rusher or even an offensive lineman, the Eagles drafted a player who will only live up to his potential if their franchise quarterback gets hurt. 

Last night, as the Eagles tried to explain this pick (they struggled), the topic of insurance policies came up. It seems like the Eagles view this as an insurance policy for their $128 million quarterback, who has gotten hurt a few times since being drafted in 2016. But the only thing that changed since they handed him that contract was a freak concussion in the playoffs after he played an entire season. The Eagles' brass was asked for their best case scenario with this pick and struggled to answer; that's because the only best-case scenario with this pick is the worst-case scenario for the team. It would mean Wentz is hurt. 

Maybe this pick will one day show foresight, but what a pessimistic and morbid way to build a team. 

I want to be very clear, and I think I'm speaking for Doug and Andy, Carson is 100 percent," GM Howie Roseman said late Friday night. "He is a Pro-Bowl, young quarterback that we're totally excited about. The decision to draft Jalen Hurts is independent of Carson Wentz. This is about who we are, what we believe in and what we think this player is about. Period.

But let me make something clear. There's no way the decision to draft a quarterback in the second round is "independent of Carson Wentz." 

Nothing the Eagles do is "independent of Carson Wentz." He's the centerpiece of this entire franchise. And they drafted a guy at No. 53 who won't help him win. 

Put aside the possibility of a Nick Foles-like situation where some fans start clamoring for the backup quarterback at the first sign of trouble for Wentz, a situation the Eagles realized wasn't tenable when they let Foles walk. Let's focus on the fact that the Eagles had a chance to use that 53rd pick on a player to help Wentz and the team this year and in the next few years and they didn't. 

A.J. Epenesa, Van Jefferson, Ezra Cleveland, Denzel Mims, Kristian Fulton, A.J. Dillon, Willie Gay Jr., Jeremy Chinn, Logan Wilson, Antonio Gibson, Ashtyn Davis, Josh Jones, Matt Hennessy, Jabari Zuniga, Lynn Bowden Jr., Byan Edwards, Lloyd Cushenberry, Terrell Lewis, Cameron Dantzler, Jonathan Greenard. 

The Eagles could have had any one of those players. Instead, they have a backup quarterback, who might see the field occasionally for a gadget play. 

And then don't forget, on Thursday night, the Eagles failed to trade up in front of the Cowboys for Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb, considered by many to be the top receiver in the class. Roseman indicated they didn't pull off a move because they didn't want to give up high draft picks, including No. 53. So instead of CeeDee Lamb, Wentz has Jalen Reagor and a backup QB. 

That's just not fair to Wentz. 

I ripped the Packers on Thursday night for drafting a quarterback in the first round instead of getting Aaron Rodgers someone to help him win. But at least Rodgers is 36. Wentz is 27 and is entering the prime of his career with a team that has gone to the playoffs three straight years. The Eagles should be all in with Wentz, trying to win Super Bowls. 

And for some reason, they weren't on Friday night. They failed him. Plain and simple. 

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NFL draft 2020: Eagles failed Carson Wentz by drafting Jalen Hurts originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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