PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After making the trade down from pick No. 6 to No. 12 in the draft, Eagles fans assumed that it likely meant the team would be moving forward with Jalen Hurts as its starting quarterback for 2021. At a press conference discussing the upcoming draft Wednesday, general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni were noncommittal on Hurts being the starter. Instead, Sirianni said that the QB spot is an “open competition.”
“To name any starters at this particular time…we’ve been working with these guys for two days,” Sirianni said. “We’ve been working with these guys for two days. My biggest thing is competition. We talked a little about my core values, it’s my second core value, it’s this team’s second core value, competition is a huge thing. We’re going to have competition at every position.”
The response from Sirianni came in answer to a question from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff Mclane about why the team made the move down in the draft and how that impacts the quarterback position. Based on reporting leading into next Thursday, it’s likely that the top three picks are all quarterbacks and as many as five could go in the Top 10. Roseman acknowledged that knowing who the Dolphins were trading with impacted the decision to trade down but was coy on whether that meant the team was looking at other positions aside from quarterback.
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“The reason we traded back from six to 12 is because flexibility creates opportunity and for us, having an extra first round pick, when you go back and look at things that are hard to acquire, that’s one of the hardest things to acquire is a team’s first round pick in the following year,” Roseman said. “When we get the call and are having the discussions with Miami we had to figure out who they were trading with to answer their questions about moving back. Once we found out it was San Francisco, we knew three quarterbacks were going to be off the board in the first three picks. So it allowed us to lock in even more on who the guys would be that would be available at 12. We’re going to evaluate every player and nothing is off the table.”
There are five quarterbacks that draft experts have listed as first round picks: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones. Lawrence is the consensus top pick, heading to Jacksonville. Wilson has been linked to the New York Jets at No. 2 for months, though there has been some recent discussion of whether that’s actually locked in. Things begin to get more interesting at No. 3 where the San Francisco 49ers traded up to presumably take a quarterback but it’s unclear which one.
That leaves two guys who will make it out of the top three picks who would theoretically be available to the Eagles if they wanted to move back up or potentially fell to No. 12. Based on their answers Wednesday, a quarterback isn’t out of the question for the team. If the organization doesn’t draft a quarterback in the first round, the only competition for Hurts on the roster will be veteran Joe Flacco and a yet to be decided third quarterback.