Benoit: Eagles See Hurts As "Trumped-Up Antwaan Randle El"

Jalen Hurts will not just be a backup for Carson Wentz; he will be a gadget player who sees the field as a rookie

The DA Show
April 29, 2020 - 10:06 am
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Sports Illustrated writer Andy Benoit was not a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles’ performance in the NFL Draft. In fact, he gave them a “C” in his draft grades column and didn’t understand, at least initially, their decision to select Jalen Hurts in the second round.

“I was amongst the rather large group of people that was surprised by the Hurts pick,” Benoit said on The DA Show. “But as I’ve settled into thinking about it, I kind of understand their thinking with Hurts. My initial thought was, ‘He’s not Taysom Hill.’ I know you’re going to use him in a lot of ways perhaps, but he’s not a blocker; he’s not a receiver. Taysom Hill wasn’t necessarily that either when he was first on the Saints. They’re actually very similar in size. I thought Hill was much bigger in Hurts, but Hill has a different body structure. They’re similar in size.”

Both Hurts and Hill are around 6-2, 220, as Hurts has drawn comparisons to Tim Tebow for his burly, dual-threat ability. And make no mistake: he will see the field as a rookie.

“The Eagles would not make this move unless they had a specific plan in place,” Benoit said. “I would be surprised if they drafted Hurts just to be [Carson] Wentz’s backup. That’s an expensive insurance policy. Hurts is also a very different style of quarterback than Wentz, so now you’d be talking about changing your offense if he’s in there. I’d be surprised if they’re trying to move on from Wentz, so what’s Hurts here for? Probably that gadget role.”

In 2019, Wentz signed a four-year extension through 2024. Only 27, his injury history is nonetheless extensive. Hurts is an insurance policy, sure, but he can also impact the game in a variety of ways.

“Remember what Antwaan Randle El did for the Steelers years ago,” Benoit said, referring to the former second-round pick out of Indiana. “He was more of a receiver than Hurts is, but he was a quarterback in college, one of those dual-threat [guys], and he became a really valuable gadget player for them for a while. I think the Eagles see Hurts as a potentially trumped-up version of Antwaan Randle El.”