Former Eagle prefers Zach Wilson in draft to Jalen Hurts at QB – 247Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have a bit of a conundrum at quarterback heading into the 2021 season. Jalen Hurts is the current starter on paper now that Carson Wentz was traded.

However, Sports Radio WIP host Jon Ritchie, also a former Eagles fullback, isn’t totally sold on Hurts. The Eagles also hold the No. 6 overall pick in April.

Ritchie joined “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” to announce his preference for quarterback in the upcoming draft.

“This comes on the heels of Howie Roseman referring to Philadelphia as a quarterback factory after he drafted Jalen Hurts last year,” Ritchie said to Cowherd. “It kind of seems like conceding defeat and failure on the Hurts pick if you go first round quarterback once again. But, the fact is Jalen Hurts while he looked promising at times, especially against the Saints….there were shortcomings in his game. No one really knows for sure if he would have looked better with a better offensive line, with better receivers, with a better scheme, but the fact remains, this is a guy who was projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick and now they have an opportunity to potentially trade up to the second overall pick in this years draft.

“I’m keen on Zach Wilson. I believe Jalen Hurts has shown all of the intangibles and leadership qualities you’re looking for, I’m just not sold on his arm. I think Zach Wilson has better arm talent and ability than Jalen Hurts does while still fitting into the modern mold of being able to hurt you with the zone read.”

Wilson jumped into superstardom in 2020 with a stellar campaign. Most mock drafts have Wilson all the way up to No. 2 overall to the New York Jets. Ritchie’s scenario does involve the Eagles using whatever draft capital to go up if they prefer a certain quarterback this year.

Wilson finished this season at BYU completing 73.5% of his passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Prior to BYU, the 6-foot-3 Wilson was a 247Sports Composite three-star recruit out of Utah.

“Draft him, and find out,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake told the New York Post. “I recruited him, and I recruited him late, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. . . . I’m excited to see where the next stop’ll be for him, because I think he’ll do really, really well there.

“On a football field, he’s a guy that could easily be a coach right now. You want a guy to be highly competitive, but not a lot of people are willing to sacrifice and put in the time to prepare like he is. Imagine a player who loves the game of football and when I’m working late nights, he’s here as well. And then when I’m watching film, he’ll come in and watch film with the coaching staff and hang out. He lives for ball, that’s what he does, and he’s a great student of the game, and his work ethic’s unbelievable, and his teammates love him.”

Speaking on “Get Up” on Tuesday morning, Eagles legend Brian Westbrook outlined why Hurts needs to be the guy in 2021.

“That’s a big-time question going on in Philadelphia right now, figuring out do you have faith in Jalen Hurts,” Westbrook said on ‘Get Up.’ “I’ll tell you this, Jalen Hurts played four games last season, I thought he played well in most of those four, especially the first half of those games. But he has to be better. He played like a rookie. And he played like a rookie that didn’t start most of those games, didn’t have OTAs, didn’t have the ability to practice with the ones all season long. I saw enough that I can say ‘I’m willing to take a chance on Jalen Hurts this season.’ Allow him to get an offseason. Allow him to be coached up. Allow him to start the season as the starter. Then you can see what type of player he really is.

“He has the pedigree. He has the ability, the skill set. I think he’s good enough. We will see. And here’s the deal. If Jalen Hurts is not the guy, let’s say he just can’t figure it out this season. Then the Eagles will be drafting high again next year.”

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As a rookie, Hurts finished 77 of 148 passing (52% completion percentage) for 1,061 yards, six touchdowns, four interceptions, 354 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in four starts and 15 total games.


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