We might have the most relevant take yet when it comes to the controversial Jalen Hurts pick by the Eagles in the 2020 NFL Draft, and it comes from someone who was in the quarterback room last season and presumably no longer has any skin in the game, veteran backup Josh McCown.
McCown, who turns 41 on the Fourth of July, wants to return for another season but that door was more than likely shut in Philadelphia when the Eagles decided Hurts, the former college star at Alabama and Oklahoma, should be the No. 53 overall pick in the draft.
The highly-regarded McCown, who has a very bright future in coaching if he decides to take that route, appeared on the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday to discuss the lightning rod of taking a QB with a premium draft pick less than a calendar year after, at the time, giving Carson Wentz the most guaranteed money is the history of the sport.
McCown tried to explain the decision by pointing to the organization’s history of aggression and the most famous play in franchise history.
"As a fan, you have to ask your question were you surprised when they called, Philly, Philly?" said McCown. "Organizationally, it's an aggressive group that's gonna chase winning as best they can and you're gonna turn over every stone that you can to add talent to your team and make your franchise better.”
The biggest issue may be with the chemistry. What does Wentz really think? If Hurts is really as good as the Eagles think why would he be happy sitting behind a franchise QB for the foreseeable future?
Successful backups like McCown or even Nick Foles generally aren’t top-of-the-line talents from a traits points, something the Eagles organization seems to believe Hurts is.
"I'm not concerned about it. I think it will work,” McCown said. “There are great people in the building, Doug (Pederson) will lead the way with that.”
The elephant in the room is Wentz’s durability. The Eagles have made three consecutive postseason appearances and the QB1 has only been around for a handful of snaps in the loss to Seattle back in January due to a concussion.
McCown himself was forced into action and came up just short while playing through a torn hamstring suffered in the first half.
“Make no mistake, you had an older quarterback play in a playoff game so I understand the idea,” McCown said when ruminating on the decision. “If you have an opportunity to get a young player that you feel like can develop into a franchise quarterback or a good player someday, that becomes an asset for you one way or another."
As for Wentz, McCown got to know him up close last season and mentor him. His takeaway from that has been nothing but positive.
“I believe watching how Carson played last year, especially down the stretch with guys that weren't necessarily on the roster, to begin with, I think it was a huge growth and a step forward in his game,” said McCown. “From a playing on-field standpoint, from a leadership standpoint bringing the guys along. I just think he's in a different place. He's a franchise quarterback,”
And one that can handle a little rattling of his cage?
"He's an Alpa, man," McCown said of Wentz. "He wants things a certain way. He has a vision for how he's gonna play the game and I appreciate that.”
A headstrong nature has always been part of the scouting reports with Wentz but McCown also saw the ability to adjust on the fly grow dramatically.
"I think we saw that down the stretch for Carson as a quarterback," said McCown. "I admire that, he's growing. He's just sort of sorting through the first few years of his career, the ups and downs. There's a lot of crazy things that have happened.
"I think walking away for me (from last season), just really proud of him, admire him, and how he pursues his greatness. How he pursues wanting to be a special player and carry this franchise."
John McMullen covers the Eagles for SI.com and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every day on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, Every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio, and every weekday on ESPN 97.3 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen