Howie Roseman Believes Jalen Hurts 'Can Play and Win'

The Eagles GM doubled down on taking the Alabama/Oklahoma QB in 2020 despite the original plan going awry
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PHILADELPHIA - Hindsight hasn't changed Howie Roseman's perspective on taking Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

That's probably not surprising because Hurts is getting ready to start in the Eagles' season-opener in Atlanta on Sunday. But, that was never the plan.

Carson Wentz was supposed to be the Eagles' starter through 2021 and beyond with Hurts serving as the cost-effective backup for a few years with the potential of being spun off toward the back end of his rookie deal after some solid preseason work.

“We loved Carson, but we played four [actually six] playoff games, and we’ve needed our backup quarterback in all of them,” explained Roseman on Wednesday while appearing on the team's flagship radio station, 94WIP. “It’s too important of a position not to have that. I think that just thinking about where we were at the moment, and I think it was the right thing to do.

"It’s a hard decision, but it was the right thing to do.”

The ensuing fallout seemed to be negative from Wentz's perspective, and some have argued that the now-Indianapolis QB1 should have developed a thicker skin.

Roseman seems to be of that perspective because he certainly didn't treat Hurts with kid gloves by acquiring former Jacksonville starter Gardner Minshew this summer.

The Eagles GM compared his philosophy to what's going on in San Francisco, which drafted Trey Lance No. 3 overall despite having a veteran starter in Jimmy Garoppolo.

“They sat there, and they said, ‘Hey, we like our starting quarterback, but we got to make sure he stays on the field,’” Roseman said. “They traded three first-round picks to go up and get another quarterback, and their quarterback had been a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl. They’ve spent a lot of picks on that. That’s what we were saying last year.”

None of the comparisons are perfect because the Eagles used significant draft capital as well as financial assets on Wentz before selecting Hurts.

Hurts, meanwhile, doesn't have Wentz's pedigree or bank account when explaining why Minshew was brought in. Finally, the 49ers don't believe nearly as much in Garoppolo as the Eagles once did with Wentz, and Lance is the obvious heir apparent.

Despite all of that context, Roseman still feels his vacuum-like philosophy at the position is the way to go and he believes Hurts is strong-minded enough to deal with any fallout.

“At the end of the day, I think that we talk a lot about Jalen and his leadership and what kind of person he is, which are really positive things, but the guy can play, and he can win,” Roseman said. “He’s another person, like all of us, who have to prove it and show it, and we’re excited about that. But certainly, he’s got a skill set that we’re excited about.”

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.