When the Eagles traded up to No. 2 overall in 2016 to draft Carson Wentz, Howie Roseman said one of the reasons they made the aggressive move up the board was they liked Wentz more than some of the other quarterbacks expected to be in the upcoming draft classes.
Now that Wentz is on his way to Indianapolis, the Eagles are once again looking for a quarterback — and once again they will be looking beyond 2021 for potential options.
While the answer could end up being Jalen Hurts, here is a look at some of the young quarterbacks that the Eagles could target to be their next franchise guy:
Jalen Hurts: The big question for the Eagles now is what they do with Hurts. Do they keep him and give him a chance to compete for the job? Or, if they do draft a quarterback at No. 6 overall, do they trade Hurts and start fresh with one clear starter? Hurts definitely showed enough potential last season to earn a chance at the job. He has everything the team could want in a quarterback — he has a strong arm, he is accurate, he can move and he has leadership qualities. Hurts has a real chance to be a special player — the question is whether it will be in Philadelphia.
2021 NFL Draft:
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson: Yes, the Eagles chances of landing Lawrence are extremely slim. But in the unlikely world where the Jacksonville Jaguars decide not to take Lawrence the Eagles are at least within striking distance to get him. He is worth mentioning, but realistically, Lawrence shouldn’t be viewed as an option for the Eagles.
Zach Wilson, QB, BYU: Who the No. 2 quarterback in the draft is depends on who you talk to or what draft board you look at. There is almost no question, however, that two quarterbacks will be selected with the top-two picks. As of now the quarterback most likely to go after Lawrence is Wilson. Wilson, 6-foot, 226 pounds, burst onto the scene last year with 33 touchdowns, 3,692 passing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns to just three interceptions. Wilson has a strong arm and is athletic, but accuracy is viewed as an issue for him.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: Unlike Wilson, Fields was viewed as one of the top quarterbacks in the country heading into the 2020 college football season — and he backed that up with a strong year. Fields, 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, has totaled 63 touchdowns to just nine interceptions over his last 22 college games, running for 15 touchdowns as well. Fields’ outstanding game against Clemson helped his draft stock and it is very possible he goes No. 2 overall. The question for the Eagles is whether either Wilson or Fields will make it to No. 6 — or if they will need to move up to get one of them.
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State: It probably shouldn’t matter, but the reality is it probably will, and it is just hard to imagine the Eagles would go back to North Dakota State for their next quarterback. Lance, 6-foot-4, 226 pounds, is an intriguing prospect who threw 28 touchdowns without a single interception last season, while also rushing for 14 touchdown. Lance would be considered a reach at No. 6 but if the Eagles trade down he could be a possibility.
Kyle Trask, QB, Florida: Trask makes the list because of his connection to new quarterback coach Brian Johnson, who last season coached Trask up into a potential first-round pick. Trask, 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, finished with 43 touchdowns to just eight interceptions last season.
2022 NFL Draft:
Tyler Shough, QB, Oregon: Plenty can change between now and the 2022 NFL Draft — just ask Joe Burrow, who went from a mid-round pick to the No. 1 pick. As of now, however, Shough seem to be the top quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Shough, 6-foot-5, 221 pounds, physically looks and moves like Justin Herbert. He was impressive in limited action last season, throwing 13 touchdowns to just six interceptions on 167 attempts.
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina: Howell, 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, has played more than Shough but it doesn’t seem many feel he has the same kind of upside. Howell finished the 2020 season with 30 touchdowns to seven interceptions, but wasn’t as much of a threat on the ground, totaling just five touchdowns on 92 attempts.
Kedon Slovis, QB, USC: If the Eagles decide they want to go with a pocket passer, Slovis could be a guy they target. Slovis has completed 70% of his passes in two seasons at USC, totaling 47 touchdowns to 16 interceptions.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!