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June 05, 2024

Jalen Hurts watch: Eagles QB turns in mixed performance at minicamp

On the Eagles' second day of mandatory minicamp, Jalen Hurts had some strong throws that were offset with a couple of interceptable passes.

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Jalen Hurts Eagles Minicamp 2024 Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

Jalen Hurts

The Eagles' second day of mandatory minicamp in South Philadelphia is in the books. In a mix of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work, franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts had an up-and-down performance. 

In what's been open to the media, the Eagles' offensive scheme has been a bit vanilla as the Kellen Moore play-calling era gets underway. That's understandable at this point in the offseason. These types of practice settings never play to Hurts' true strengths anyway. He's not Tom Brady. He's not Drew Brees. What he brings to the game in terms of escapability, mobility and creation cannot be replicated in practice.

Even with that caveat, there were a couple of throws the signal-caller would assuredly loved to have back on Wednesday. Let's break down all of the first-team offense's plays and what they say about Hurts.

7-on-7 action...

1. Hurts completes an out route to A.J. Brown with Darius Slay sticking the superstar wide receiver in coverage. It's as simple and effective of a play that exists in the Birds' playbook.

2. Hurts drops back to pass, waits, hops and connects on an underneath crosser to DeVonta Smith

3. With Saquon Barkley lined up wide to the left, Hurts once again hits Smith for a short gain.

4. This was Hurts' worst throw of the day. Tossing the ball into double coverage to begin with, it was as if the ball was fired directly at Reed Blankenship, who cleanly picked off the QB and made a nice return. Not ideal.

Next 7-on-7 set...

5. With Dallas Goedert in motion, Hurts throws to Barkley in the left flat for a completion. The first team offense has rarely if ever targeted a running back on a more sophisticated route or even one run over the middle of the field. They don't have Darren Sproles out there running square ins, of course, and it is only June, but a varied route tree would be welcomed for a player of Barkley's caliber come the fall. 

6. Hurts sails an out route to his left.

7. Hurts hits new wideout Parris Campbell on a slant for an easy pickup. At this early stage, Campbell appears to have a leg up on the No. 3 receiver spot, but ultimately might just be the fifth-most targeted player offensively behind the highly touted group of Brown, Smith, Goedert and Barkley. 

8. Hurts waits and waits. He looks right to no avail with Quinyon Mitchell blanketing Goedert and Slay on Campbell. He ultimately dumps it off the Barkley in the flat for a completion. 

More 7-on-7s...

9. With Mitchell sticking Brown well, Hurts takes his time in the pocket before hitting tight end Grant Calcaterra breaking left over the middle for a nice gain. 

10. With Slay playing a bit off Brown with a cushion, Hurts quickly finds Brown for a completion on a hitch route.

11. The Eagles go play-action and fake a handoff to Barkley. That should be a staple of Moore's offensive gameplay. Hurts hits speedster John Ross on a button hook. 

12. The Eagles go play-action again. Hurts finds Brown on a deep slant in tight coverage for a gain of 20-plus yards. Nice throw.

The last 7-on-7s session...

13. Campbell motions right. Hurts targets Goedert deep down the right sideline. Goedert tracked the ball poorly, but it was a bad throw regardless with it falling incomplete. That's on both guys. 

14. With Barkley shifting in the backfield, Hurts has his best throw of the day, hitting Goedert on a deep out. Great throw. Great catch. It might have been defensive pass interference, too. That's a nice do-over after the previous play. 

15. This was another throw that Hurts is regretting. Cooper DeJean is the slot cornerback on DeVonta Smith. Brown is to Smith's left with Slay on him. Hurts stares down Brown too long, DeJean reads his eyes exceptionably, lags off his man and jumps the pass. He dropped it, which shouldn't be the case for a guy who's been billed as having great ball skills heading into the pros, but it was still a great read. Both Mitchell and DeJean continue to flash as rookies. 

16. A quick one. Hurts connects with Goedert over the middle. Nothing flashy.

11-on-11 work to wrap things up...

17. With stacked trips left, Smith motions right. Hurts steps up and hits Smith coming over the middle. The throw was a tad behind him, but it was a timely catch from Smith. 

18. Devin White does what he does best at linebacker, blitzing the quarterback, blowing by everyone and "sacking" Hurts, or at least as much as it can be considered a sack without full contact. White mentioned in his pre-practice press conference that new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wants to maximize what individual players do well when asked about his track record of rushing the passer. That's exactly what White should be doing during the season. 

19. With Jalen Carter noticeably lined up at nose tackle, Hurts finds Smith wide out to the left with a big yards-after-the-catch opportunity.

20. Ross and Smith are both in the slot to the left with Brown out wide. Josh Sweat immediately jumps offsides, creating a free play for the offense. Hurts casually rolls a bit to his left before launching a hero ball/penalty play throw deep to Brown. Brown extended his arms, but the pass was a step or two in front of him. It didn't feel like a true pass attempt, but Hurts could've had him in a live setting. 

21. Who finishes up the day with these star-studded skill positions? None other than 2023 training camp favorite Joseph Ngata. He was not Hurts' first read on the play, but Ngata got open quickly and Hurts fed him with a slant. 

Wednesday grade for Hurts: C+

The Eagles are back at it for their final minicamp practice on Thursday afternoon...

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