After starting the final four games of his rookie season in 2020, Jalen Hurts is primed for his first year as a full-time starter in 2021.
Plenty of people are excited to see what Hurts can do with more time on the field this coming season, including longtime Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.
In response to a question about NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms leaving Hurts off his list of top-40 NFL quarterbacks, Kelce compared the omission to doubters early on in his career.
“I was drafted in the sixth round, and nobody thought I would last a season in the NFL,” Kelce said, per Chris Franklin of NJ.com. “Analysts are analysts for a reason. They are certainly experts. I do not want to bash any of those guys, but I’m with Jalen every day, and he has all the intangibles. He’s an incredible leader and has a great work ethic. I can’t wait to see what that kid does. I don’t know how to evaluate quarterbacks, but I’m excited to be his teammate.”
Since entering the league as the No. 62 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Kelce has started each of the 142 games in which he was available. Through 10 years in the NFL, the veteran lineman has logged four Pro-Bowl appearances and three All-Pro selections.
Hurts was drafted late in the second round with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Through his four games as QB1 last season, the former Oklahoma quarterback notched 1,061 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions en route to a 1-3 record.
The Eagles franchise will expect marked improvement from the young QB in his second year with the team.
While Hurts is overwhelmingly expected to take the starting role in Week 1, Philly also has veteran QBs Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens on the depth chart.
The Eagles will kickoff their season with a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons on Sep. 12.