Former Eagles All-Pro running back Brian Westbrook offered a blunt assessment of Jalen Hurts, the third-year quarterback who might serve as the demarcation line for the 2022 version of the Birds, and whether or not Nick Sirianni’s team is a real contender.
There’s plenty of optimism entering July surrounding the Eagles with the latest being Pro Football Focus rating Philadelphia as having the seventh-best roster in all of football. The top six, in case you were wondering, happen to be quarterbacked by Josh Allen (Buffalo), Tom Brady (Tampa Bay), Justin Herbert (LA Chargers), Matthew Stafford (LA Rams), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay), and perhaps Deshaun Watson (Cleveland).
“In your combined time watching the game have we seen a quarterback take the jump that we actually need Jalen Hurts to take,” Westbrook asked when appearing on JAKIB Sports’ Sports Take. “I mean I can’t really remember that many guys that said ‘okay, my arm got stronger from year to year,’ I haven’t seen that many guys that say ‘my anticipation has gotten a little better.”
One QB who does fit into that category is Allen, who came into the league as the No. 7 overall pick out of Wyoming by Buffalo in 2018 with a reputation of being somewhat erratic as a thrower.
Westbrook noted Allen’s development and his status as one of the best QBs in football but also pointed to the 6-foot-5, 237-pounder’s physical gifts, especially his rare arm talent.
“We’ve seen some guys get a little bit better,” the Villanova product surmised. “Josh Allen got a lot better but he had all the all the stuff. He had all the ingredients. You could put him in a pan and stir him up and he finally figured that out.
“Now he’s an MVP choice.”
Westbrook doesn’t see the natural comp there with Hurts.
““Jalen Hurts lacks a little bit of arm strength,” Westbrook said. “I still think he lacks — because of that arm strength — lacks some confidence in where he wants to go with the ball.”
Like others, Westbrook is impressed by Hurts’ work ethic and sees a player who can max out his potential.
“I think he will work his butt off,” Westbrook said of Hurts. “I think his confidence of understanding defenses and the offense will be much better.
“Can he get the ball there? That’s the big question.”
And it’s a fair scouting report.