When the Philadelphia Eagles traded one of their three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to the New Orleans Saints, it jump-started a discussion suggesting general manager Howie Roseman was amassing more capital in 2023 to go after a quarterback if Jalen Hurts struggles to lock down the franchise gig.
Asked Wednesday during the Eagles' pre-draft press conference about that theory, Roseman reiterated his support for Hurts.
"We're excited about Jalen Hurts, you know," Roseman said. "We're gonna support Jalen and want him to have a great career in Philly. This was about flexibility for our team and about making sure that we had resources to improve our team for not only this year's draft, but next year's draft going forward. We thought it made a lot of sense."
Playing both sides of the coin is a classic Roseman maneuver and, frankly, it makes sense. The Eagles will support Hurts until they see an upgrade. If the young, dual-threat quarterback makes strides and balls out in 2022, that support will continue. If he struggles with downfield throws and the Philly offense gets stuck in the mud, then Roseman has the capital to go after his replacement in what is expected to be a much better QB draft.
The Eagles still have two first-round draft picks (Nos. 15 and 18) to upgrade an already stellar roster and make a run at a winnable NFC East crown. Roseman has five picks in the first three rounds of the draft to help upgrade the roster, which will aid in the evaluation of Hurts.
After using back-to-back first-rounders on receivers, it's possible Roseman could once again take an early wideout to help buffer Hurts. Philly hit on DeVonta Smith last year, but 2020 pick Jalen Reagor remains a work in progress.
"You're constantly evaluating the things you did wrong," Roseman said. "Learning from the things you did right. With Jalen, I know he's working his butt off, sometimes the book isn't necessarily written on all those guys."
The book isn't written on any of the Eagles' young players, including Hurts and Reagor, which is why Roseman made the draft trade: to keep future flexibility.