As the Eagles try to clean up their quarterback room, it seems likely that Carson Wentz is on his way out.
Whether that’s the right decision on the football field is up for debate among Eagles fans: some believe he’s salvageable, and some think his regression in 2020 was a sign that he’s a broken QB.
Whatever the case, Jalen Hurts is currently the team’s most likely starting quarterback for Week 1 of 2021, and according to NFL.com’s season-ending rankings of every starting QB this past season… that’s actually not such a bad thing.
Four of the site’s writers pulled together an all-encompassing look at all 59 quarterbacks who started a game in 2020.
If the Eagles are strictly making their QB decision based on what they saw last year, NFL.com thinks the Birds are making the right call.
Here’s where they ranked each NFC East quarterback (and also Nick Foles, because I know you care):
16. Dak Prescott
23. Jalen Hurts
“Jalen Hurts provided a spark for a lifeless Eagles offense when he took over for Carson Wentz in Week 14, but the rookie’s four starts were far from perfect. Still, combine his copious potential with a 2021 salary that’s 3.4 percent the size of Wentz’s, and it’s no surprise why the fledgling Nick Sirianni regime might opt to stick with the second-year passer as the team’s starter next season.”
24. Daniel Jones
27. Alex Smith
35. Carson Wentz
“Wentz is just one member of the (unsettlingly large) crowd of young quarterbacks teetering on the brink, but his fall might be among the most harrowing, given the heights from which the former MVP candidate has plummeted. Without digging into the messy business of assigning blame, Wentz’s 2020 backslide should haunt not just the Eagles but any NFL decision-maker tasked with safeguarding the development of a talented signal-caller.”
37. Taylor Heinicke
39. Kyle Allen
40. Nick Foles
50. Dwayne Haskins
59. Ben DiNucci
This ranking is very interesting, but I actually think it’s spot-on… outside of putting Smith ahead of Wentz.
I know Wentz was miserable in 2020 – I watched every dang play – and Smith led Washington to wins, but Smith is hardly a usable quarterback heading into next season. His lack of mobility is a huge issue, his 6.3 yards per attempt was his lowest since 2009, and his 3.2% interception percentage was his highest since 2009. Smith was awful this year, and his 5-1 record doesn’t make that less true. It just means he had a good team around him.
Otherwise, I think this list is correct. Daniel Jones being ranked beneath Jalen Hurts is a colossal indictment of the Giants’ talent development abilities. Nick Foles being the 40th-best QB in the league, below Wentz’s worst season ever, should put some Eagles fans in check (but it won’t). And… remember Ben DiNucci? What a time.
It’s very possible that, depending on where he ends up, Carson Wentz will have a better 2021 than Jalen Hurts. That conversation will be incredibly entertaining. But for now, picking Hurts over Wentz isn’t such a bad decision.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: