Philadelphia Eagles interest in Kenny Pickett might just be something
When news broke that Pitt Panthers QB Kenny Pickett shared a meal with Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, it sent waves around the fan base. After enduring two straight seasons of quarterback controversy with a draft in between, some just wanted the chatter to end and Jalen Hurts to retain his spot as the team’s QB1. Others, conversely, wanted something more tangible as they weren’t sold on the Alabama/Oklahoma prospect and felt his play could ultimately cap the team’s cap in 2022 and beyond.
Is either side “right” per se? Not necessarily, but to make a balanced argument, those are the two dominant schools of thought.
Since then, even more quarterbacks have had their Pro Days, many of whom had the Eagles in attendance, and questions surrounding how the team will use its three first-round picks have only grown.
Is all of this just a smokescreen to create potential trading targets? Or could the Eagles actually be considering a move to the game’s most important position, likely to someone with a slightly bigger arm?
Well, according to Pitt’s head coach Pat Narduzzi, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the teams that seem genuinely interested in the services of their all-time greatest passer, which will surely only add fuel to this already controversial situation. Buckle up, friends; this next month is going to be interesting.
Could the Philadelphia Eagles really kick off with Kenny Pickett?
What is Nick Sirianni’s attacking plan? Was it the high-flying offense he helped Frank Reich craft in Indianapolis that saw Andrew Luck throw for 4,593 yards in 2018? Or what about the dink-and-dunk, ground-and-pound attack the following season, when Jacoby Brissett took over from Luck after his surprise retirement? What about the offense he ran with the Philadelphia Eagles, or should I say offenses, because the scheme he ran in Week 1 was very different from the offense heavy deployed by Sirianni in Week 16 against the New York Giants?
That, my friends, is the question the Eagles need to answer as 2022 approaches and should play a big part in which player they hope to sign/draft in the future.
Now, personally, I think Sirianni is a very good head coach who is sincerely willing to adjust his scheme to suit his players, even if it takes him a little longer than expected. Sirianni managed to create a fantastic mid-season rushing offense that proved unmatched in the NFL landscape heading into Week 8, and even though Howie Roseman is able to fill his closet with a fantastic collection of point guards, I imagine that will remain a big part of his offensive identity moving forward, especially if he’s able to land a legit punch to complement Miles Sanders’ fitness game.
But what about the passing game? Is Sirianni willing to keep his mostly horizontal passing game with a few through shots sprinkled in for good measure? Or would he instead drastically reconfigure his offense once again like the good old days in Indianapolis and return to the deep passing game he turned to at the start of the 2021 season, when Jalen Hurts was throwing for over 300 yards per the pass per game mainly in the fourth quarter?
If the answer is the latter, Hurts could very well execute this offense as he will surely spend his entire offseason working on the weakness in his game and come back for Year 3 a better player, but if the player evaluation department of the Eagles doesn’t think he’ll make it, or would prefer to move into 2022 with a rookie contract quarterback who’s in control of the team on a not too expensive contract for the next five seasons, so the prospects for signing another quarterback may prove tempting.
Kenny Pickett, to his credit, checks many of the boxes Howie Roseman and his head coach looked for in a starting quarterback. Like Hurts, he’s fast, with a fake slide so deadly it forced the NCAA to change its rules. He also has a great arm, great instincts, and the great honor of breaking Pitt’s all-time record. a record set by Dan Marino long before the New Jersey native was born. While he might get the same kind of hype as Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray or Trevor Lawrence coming out of college, Pickett is a player worth betting on who could have a very, very long NFL career for any team.
Will this team be the Philadelphia Eagles? Guess we’ll all see soon enough.
Who knows, maybe that’s all for not. Maybe Pat Narduzzi was trying to get his star quarterback talked about, maybe Brian Johnson asked for a formal dinner to learn more about a potential future division rival, and maybe Jalen Hurts will be at the center of Week 1 laughing at that late March smokescreen, but given the current state of the team, which Howie Roseman describes as “under construction,” nothing should be ruled out, not even the quarterback. If Kenny Pickett scores higher than Hurts and he’s there at 15, he should be very much in the conversation. And if he’s the highest-ranked player on the roster — which he probably won’t be but could be at 19 — then the team might just pull the trigger and make him a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.