After years of relying on Carson Wentz as a passer, the Eagles re-established their identity in 2022 as one of the league’s top rushing teams thanks to quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts, who was drafted by the Eagles 53rd overall in 2021, made his dual-threat prowess known during his time at Alabama and Oklahoma. Hurts, a former Heisman Trophy finalist, rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns during his final season with the Sooners on top of the 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns he had.
So clearly there was some indication of how Hurts could be used, or at least how productive he could be, at the NFL level once he got to Philly. But, he started just four games and completed just 52 percent of his passes, throwing for six touchdowns and four interceptions.
This season was Hurts’ first real season starting in any significant way, and his numbers improved across the board. He completed 61.3 percent of his passes while throwing for 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions along with 784 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns as the team’s leading rusher.
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It’s because of that improvement, even if the numbers weren’t what fans or others expected, that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman committed to Hurts as the team’s 2022 starter on Wednesday.
“I am tremendously impressed by his work ethic and leadership,” said Roseman. “We wanted to see him take the bull by the horns, and he certainly did.”
Hurts had some pots. He had two multi-team games, including a three-team against the Giants. He also threw eight times for less than 200 yards and just twice for more than 300 yards. And while it’s easy to potentially pick any one of those games and make it a reason why Hurts is disappointed or disappointed, his coach, Nick Sirianni, said that’s unfair.
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“You factor in all the work. I’m pleased with the way he developed as a passer and as a quarterback. And we’ve seen so many things he got better at. A lot of factors go into why Jalen got better as a passer, starting with Jalen first. “.
The Eagles have three first-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft and could look to add one of the elite wide receivers or an offensive lineman to further bolster Hurts’ protection or weapons and see him make an even bigger jump. from year 2 to year 3 than it did from year 1 to year 2.