As they praise Jalen Hurts, Eagles don’t rule out drafting a quarterback

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As the Eagles bid a fond farewell to Carson Wentz on Wednesday, the team’s brain trust also began looking to the future.

Jalen Hurts, a second-round choice in 2020, is the only quarterback under contract and thus the presumed starter.

Hurts, 22, started four games late last season, going 1-3 with 1,061 passing yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. He added 354 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

“There’s a lot of things to be excited about with his tape, and so we’re so excited to work with him and get going with him and talking ball with him,” new coach Nick Sirianni told Dave Spadaro of the team website. “Right now, we’re in a period where we’re talking and just getting to know each other. I look forward to the day when we can talk and really dive into football.

“What we saw is a player who can really extend plays and create on his own. . . .We saw his ability to create when things weren’t there. That’s an unbelievable asset to have as a football team. You can see his toughness on tape and how he carried himself. . . . He is a leader who loves football. There is no substitute for that.”

But the Eagles will have to fill the room somehow, some way. Despite a report last week that team owner Jeffrey Lurie has instructed the team’s decision-makers to prioritize making Hurts successful in 2021, as opposed to creating a quarterback competition, the Eagles aren’t closing the door on drafting a quarterback with the sixth overall choice.

Why should they say anything otherwise? It is in the team’s best interest to keep other teams guessing about their intent on draft day.

General Manager Howie Roseman said the Eagles “won’t put a cap on what we’re going to do at that position.” They expect to consider every option as they address depth and competition at quarterback.