Although there has been speculation to the contrary, Carson Wentz made it clear he is excited and not concerned after the Philadelphia Eagles selected Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts during the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Wentz, who has three years remaining on a $128 million extension, publicly discussed the Eagles' selection of Hurts for the first time during a conference call on Monday.
"With Jalen, I'm excited to add him to the team," Wentz said, via NFL Network's Jeremy Bergman. "I know how important the quarterback position is and how important the dynamic is for me and for the other guys in that room. I've been blessed over the years to have some incredible, not just quarterbacks, but incredible humans and friends in that quarterback room. We really endure a lot together and go through (a lot) together. So I'm excited.
"I've heard nothing but great things about Jalen, the player that he is. Got a chance to talk to him just briefly. So I'm excited to add him to the fold and create a really good, healthy, competitive, challenging environment for all of us. Excited to add him to the fold."
Part of Wentz' calmness as it relates to the selection of Hurts is the fact that Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson kept Wentz abreast of the team's plans prior to drafting Hurts.
"We just wanted him to understand that, you know, we value the quarterback position extremely high here in Philadelphia," Pederson told NBC Sports' Mike Tirico. "But at the same time, Carson understands, and I wanted him to know, that he's our starter, he's the face of the Philadelphia Eagles, he's the franchise. He is the guy that's going to take us back, hopefully, one day, back to the Super Bowl, and get back to that championship level. So I wanted him to understand that first."
The 6-foot-1, 218-pound Hurts won a national championship at Alabama before having one of the productive seasons by a quarterback in college football history during his one season at Oklahoma. Last week, he said lastto be heading to Philadelphia, a team that appears to already have its franchise quarterback.
"The Eagles want me to come in and be the competitor I am. Compete every day and take steps as a quarterback," Hurts said during an appearance on Sports Radio 94WIP. "I'm surrounded by a great quarterback in Carson, great coaches -- who all want me to succeed at the position.
"This is an opportunity for me to learn and I'm here to serve this team in any way I can. I'm excited for it."
For the Eagles, the selection of Hurts strengthens a quarterback room that lost Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles last offseason. With Foles gone, the Eagles were forced to play 40-year-old Josh McCown when Wentz left the Eagles' wild card playoff game against the Seahawks with an injury. With McCown under center, Philadelphia struggled to move the ball in their eventual 17-9 loss.
While he has performed like a franchise quarterback when healthy, injuries have plagued Wentz during his first four NFL seasons. Over the past three seasons, Wentz has missed eight regular season games due to injury. He has also played in just one of the Eagles' six playoff games over that span, as Wentz was forced to watch Philadelphia's 2017 Super Bowl run from the sideline.
While the team's selection of Hurts garnered most of the attention, the Eagles also drafted three receivers to help Wentz and the Eagles' offense for the 2020 season. Among the receivers selected was first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who caught 35 touchdown passes in three seasons at TCU. Philadelphia also bolstered their offensive line, selecting former Auburn linemen Jack Driscoll and Prince Tega Wanogho in the fourth and seventh rounds, respectively.
During the conference call, Wentz reiterated the fact that he is not worried about the selection of Hurts while adding that he continues to put his faith into the Eagles' brain trust.
"It didn't really concern me," Wentz said. "My reaction was kind of understood. I know I had a feeling there was a chance we were going to draft somebody, just given the way our roster's laid out and trying to get younger and stuff. So there was no concern for me," Wentz said. "The team showed their investment in me last year and I have nothing but confidence and faith in them and they have nothing but confidence and faith in me, so I think it's all about strengthening that position and this group that we have."