Jalen Hurts has already lived multiple lives in his two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Initially tabbed as a gadget player to work alongside Carson Wentz, Hurts eventually took over as the starting quarterback late in his rookie season. He remained there in 2021, helping guide the Eagles back to the playoffs while showing signs that he could hold down the QB position for the foreseeable future.
The 2022 season should provide proof of concept with Hurts or give his team motivation to pivot elsewhere. The Eagles have surrounded Hurts with talent and given him the entire year to show that he can take the next step. If he does, Philly looks in prime position to compete for more than just a playoff berth over the next few years. If he doesn’t, the team will go signal-caller shopping in 2023.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Passing: 265 completions on 432 attempts (61.3% completion) for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions
Rushing: 139 attempts for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns
Fantasy: Eighth among QBs in total scoring (eighth in per-game scoring)
Eagles’ offseason moves
In an offseason that saw multiple superstar receivers change teams, the Eagles arguably pulled off the best deal to acquire one. On draft night, they sent first- and third-round picks to the Tennessee Titans to land A.J. Brown, the uber-talented wideout who just turned 25 in June. Brown will join 2021 first-rounder DeVonta Smith to form one of the most dangerous pass-catching tandems in the league. In a less-heralded move, Philly drafted Nebraska’s Cam Jurgens to develop under center Jason Kelce and eventually take his place.
2022 best-case scenario
Playing behind a rock-solid offensive line and alongside top-shelf talent at the skill positions, Hurts has everything needed to thrive in terms of supporting cast. It also helps that the third-year quarterback enters his second season in Nick Sirianni’s offensive system. All of that bodes well for Hurts’ chances of ironing out the inconsistencies that characterized his first two seasons in the league and establishing himself as the Eagles’ long-term answer under center.
2022 worst-case scenario
Though the Eagles have put a fantastic group of players around Hurts, that could also work against him if he doesn’t take the next step in his development. The team holds multiple first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and, should Hurts falter, could aggressively pursue one of the top quarterback prospects coming out of college or make a play for a veteran. Given the still-uncertain futures for Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray with their current clubs, Hurts faces considerable pressure to produce in 2022. That burden could realistically crush him and force a change next offseason.
Even if Hurts doesn’t deliver the breakout season the Eagles envision, he should still have another stellar fantasy campaign. Sirianni will again utilize Hurts’ running ability, and the arrival of Brown and internal development from Smith should help boost the passing output. Health permitting, Hurts looks well-positioned for another top-10 finish among quarterbacks.