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August 01, 2023

What they're saying: Jalen Hurts isn't a 'Tier 1' quarterback

Jalen Hurts' ranking among NFL QBs, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith as one of the best duos ever and more of what the national media is saying about the Eagles.

Eagles NFL
050223JalenHurts Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.

As training camp continues chugging along at the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles are preparing for the first preseason game next Saturday night against the Ravens in Baltimore. Before we get to the live game action and more practices pop up the remainder of the week, it's an apt time to take stock of how the national media is feeling about the Birds.

Here's what they're saying...

Tier 2 QB

The Athletic | Mike Sando

Over at The Athletic, writer Mike Sando dropped his annual ranking of quarterbacks featuring votes from NFL executives and coaches. The Eagles' Jalen Hurts came in just outside of "Tier 1," sitting at the top of "Tier 2" at No. 6. The QBs ahead of Hurts, in order, are Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers and Justin Herbert. 

Here's an excerpt of the blurb given for Hurts:

Hurts has climbed from 30th to 20th to sixth over his three appearances in Quarterback Tiers, placing him on the brink of the top tier. Only Seattle’s Geno Smith gained more ground from last year in average tier vote. 

“Hurts has progressively at every level gotten better the longer he is in a system,” an exec who provided one of Hurts’ 10 top-tier votes said. “He is not just solely a runner. He has shown he can push the ball down the field. He has to improve his consistent accuracy, but that is something that comes with time on the job.” 

Hurts has yet to prove himself in 2-minute situations. 

“That is why I was so fascinated with the Super Bowl,” a head coach said. “If they do not call that pass interference (on the Eagles), Kansas City kicks a field goal and then we find out once and for all, Jalen Hurts in the 2-minute. Because the last time he was in one, and people forget this, they lost at home on Monday night. Washington didn’t let him out of the tackle box, and Philly did not win that game.” 

 The personnel situation in Philly has been unusually favorable. That probably changes in the future as Hurts’ new contract robs resources from elsewhere on the roster, and opponents improve their plans for Philly’s offense. Some voters predicted Hurts would settle closer to Tier 3 than Tier 1 once those things happen. [The Athletic/$]

Among the 50 votes, 10 placed Hurts in Tier 1, 38 placed him in Tier 2 and two placed him in Tier 3. 

My take?

Mahomes really should be in a tier to himself as the league’s best QB. If you’re going to add other players with Mahomes in a top tier, Hurts has to be there, especially ahead of Rodgers and Herbert. Overall, I'd rank Mahomes and Burrow before Hurts, but he should be right there battling with Allen in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. It creates a trickle down effect, too, where you have the likes of post-injury Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins as the same tier as Hurts. Nonsense!

An All-Time Duo

The 33rd Team | Elliott Kalb

Putting together a list at The 33rd Team, Elliott Kalb ranked the top-11 wide receiver duos of all time. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith came in at No. 11:

I don't know. This is too much too soon. They've only been together one year! Sure, Brown turned in the best receiving season in Eagles history and Smith is on his way to establishing himself as a top-10 wideout in the NFL in his own right, but one of the best of all time already? Talk to me after the 2024 season at the absolute minimum. 

Fantasy Kings

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report posted a new ranking on their Instagram account on Monday, listing the top "stack" duos in fantasy football this year, meaning the best quarterback and wide receiver tandem from a given team that should power your fantasy roster together. Hurts and Brown came out on top (you can click the arrows on the post to toggle through the whole ranking):

This feels right to me. Hurts is a fantasy superstar with his ability as a rusher in addition to his passing numbers, finishing as the No. 3 fantasy QB last season. Brown was the No. 4 fantasy receiver in 2022, too. Hey, we found one outlet that has Hurts in the No. 1 spot!

Stay tuned to PhillyVoice for all your Eagles news analysis through the summer into the season...

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