For a rising second-year player with only four recorded starts in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles are riding pretty high on expected 2021 starter Jalen Hurts.
The lofty expectations placed in front of Hurts don’t stop with the franchises’ current staff, but extend to former Eagles higher-ups as well. When asked about the future Philly starter, former head coach Doug Pederson — who gave Hurts his first NFL start near the end of the 2020 season — spoke highly of his potential.
With a markedly improved wide receiver corps heading into 2021, Pederson believes Hurts is primed for a solid season.
“I do. I like Jalen Hurts,” Pederson said, via John Clark of NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com. “And I think now with the opportunity he has, with the guys around him and getting DeVonta [Smith], getting him in here and getting him working. I know that’s his buddy. Just putting the pieces together. That’s something he can build on. I’m excited for Jalen and what he can do.”
Trading up to the No. 10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the Eagles selected reigning Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. This decision to add a top-10 prospect talent came as a response to the poor performance posted by the team’s passing offense in 2020. Gaining just 3,327 total receiving yards on 207.9 yards per game (ranked No. 28) this past season, the struggling Philly franchise was clearly in dire need of some help from a talented offensive weapon.
In last year’s 2020 draft, the Eagles also spent their first-round selection on a wide receiver option: rising second-year WR Jalen Reagor. After missing five games with various injuries this past season, the former TCU standout only logged 396 yards and a touchdown. If he’s able to return at full strength this coming season, Reagor could serve as an excellent complement to Smith as part of a talented young duo of receivers.
Under the direction of first-year NFL head coach Nick Sirianni, Hurts and the Eagles will look towards an improved season in 2021.