PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles have their starting quarterback for 2021.
It’s Jalen Hurts’ job, even though head coach Nick Sirianni declined to make it official during his pre-draft availability on April 21. Sirianni defaulted to one of his core beliefs that “we will have competition at every position.”
The decisions the front office has made this offseason make it a foregone conclusion that Hurts will be the starter.
Joe Flacco and undrafted free agent Jamie Newman, who reportedly signed after the draft in a move that has not yet been confirmed by the team, will compete, but Hurts will start.
While the Eagles have done as much as they could to put their young QB in a position to succeed, there is a legitimate concern in some corners of the NovaCare Complex that he can be “the guy” and are taking a lets-see approach.
If Hurts does not pan out, here’s an early look at quarterbacks that could be available to the Eagles in the 2022 draft based on Heisman Trophy odds released by OddsChecker.com on Wednesday.
Not surprisingly, except to probably Eagles first-round pick DeVonta Smith, who became the first WR to win the Heisman since Michigan’s Desmond Howard did it in 1991, nine of the 10 players were quarterbacks.
A QB has gone first overall in the last four NFL drafts. Three of them won the Heisman the year they were drafted.
The lone exception being Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who couldn’t beat out Smith. Still, it stands to reason that the quarterback who wins the Heisman would be the presumptive favorite to go No. 1 overall in 2022, with others on the OddsChecker list also possibly in consideration to be drafted in the first round.
“It may seem wrong, but NFL teams care about the Heisman because it shows dominance over your competition,” said OddsChecker spokesman Kyle Newman. “Every player since 2010 to win the Heisman has gone first or second overall except for Lamar Jackson and Johnny Manziel.
“If a QB wins the award, as is always the preseason expectation, he will likely be the favorite to go first overall.”
Newman concedes, however, that “the field is really wide open given the lack of a truly elite QB in this upcoming class.”
That, of course, could change as it has the past two years when LSU’s Joe Burrow and BYU’s Zach Wilson really came out of nowhere to go No. 1 in the draft, in Burrow’s case in 2020, and No. 2 as was the case with Wilson in the recent draft.
Should Hurts stumble, and the Eagles need a quarterback, they better hope the field separates itself and perhaps a QB emerges from his current and relative state of anonymity.
Here is the link for the Heisman odds:
This is how it looks:
Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler was installed as the favorite with Clemson’s DJ Uigalelei right behind him.
They are followed by:
- Alabama’s Bryce Young
- Georgia’s JT Daniels
- North Carolina’s Sam Howell
- Miami’s D’Eriq King
- USC’s Kedon Slovis
Texas running back Bijan Robinson breaks the QB run as the player with the eighth-best odds and the only non-quarterback to break into the top 10.
After Robinson, OddsChecker has Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels and Ole Miss’s Matt Corral rounding out its list.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.