Five quarterbacks were drafted in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL draft. Among the five, two went to teams who already had their “Franchise Quarterback”. The Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts while having Carson Wentz, and the Packers drafted Jordan Love while having Aaron Rodgers.
When you draft a Quarterback in the first two rounds, no matter what, it’s seen as a notable move. The move is only exacerbated when made by a team who’s already paying a Quarterback “franchise” money. Seeing as how both Rodgers and Wentz recently signed extensions, these draft picks were put under a microscope.
As we look at where we are in the season, I believe that Wentz and Rodgers are perfect examples of what can happen when you doubt your franchise Quarterback. Now in Week 13 of the NFL season, both of these teams are headed in completely different directions. Especially in terms of their Quarterback play.
Here’s what we know…
The Jordan Love Effect
The Packers drafted Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick. Not only did they trade up to get him, but they gave him the first fully guaranteed contract for a player at his draft spot. Seemingly showing they had the utmost confidence in him. While it would’ve been nice to draft a receiver or offensive skill piece that Rodgers could actually use, it was understandable as to why they drafted Jordan Love.
Rodgers was coming off of three straight down years from his usual self. He battled injuries, his completion percentage and passer rating dipped, and he was breaking the record for thrown away passes. Even during his 2019 season, in which the Packers were 13-3, he didn’t quite look like himself. With his age only increasing, the Packers viewed it as an opportunity to draft his successor. And let’s just say, Rodgers was not a fan.
🥇 Aaron Rodgers— PFF (@PFF) December 1, 2020
🥈 Patrick Mahomes
🥉 Russell Wilson
PFF’s Highest-Graded QBs of 2020 🏆 pic.twitter.com/aeKaqKLnzI
And where is Jordan Love? Sitting behind backup Quarterback Tim Boyle… who looks about 16.
The Jalen Hurts Effect
The Eagles drafting Jalen Hurts felt like an insurance policy type of move. Carson Wentz has ended every season of his NFL career hurt, outside of his rookie year. Though they like their backup Nate Sudfeld, Hurts was thought to allow them to run some Taysom Hill-like plays.
Predictably, like Rodgers, Wentz wasn’t too happy about the Eagles drafting Jalen Hurts.
One Eagles source believes the Jalen Hurts pick caused Carson Wentz to press.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 1, 2020
“All that ground he gained over Nick (Foles), everything he fought past to get to this point, you pull it right back (with Hurts).”
Inside Wentz’s struggles. https://t.co/5pbk83SA6w
But unlike Rodgers, fast forward 11 games and Wentz’s play has deteriorated to being the 27th ranked Quarterback by ESPN. Not to mention he has the most turnovers, turnover worthy plays, negatively graded plays, and is second to last in completion percentage.
Carson Wentz: 48 Turnover-Worthy Plays since 2019— PFF (@PFF) December 2, 2020
Most in the NFL pic.twitter.com/M5If35tMBb
If you type in “Carson Wentz” on your Google search bar and go to “News”, it’s an absolute shit storm for Carson Wentz. And I must be honest, I don’t think all of it is fair. Not only have the Eagles had 10 different offensive line combinations this year, but Wentz has also had the most dropped passes per Pro Football Focus. Even with that being said, he’s being paid franchise Quarterback money to make up for the holes in the team, not make them worse.
So with that being said…
Draft at Your Own Risk!
The draft itself is a guessing game, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that when you draft someone’s possible replacement (especially when they’re a Quarterback), it could negatively affect them. Luckily and unluckily for the Packers, they appear to have lit a fire under Aaron Rodgers.
Four more years of this Aaron Rodgers would be more than welcomed by the Packers, but the longer Jordan Love stays on the bench, the worse his draft selection will look. Even if they traded him away and got a second round pick, it would still be a wasted pick.
As for the Eagles, their selection of Jalen Hurts appears to have broke Carson Wentz. He’s become a turnover machine, and is the living definition of “hero ball”. Looking for the big play, every play, and in doing so, putting his team in unwinnable positions. If this continues, I have no doubt we will soon see Jalen Hurts starting this season despite the contract given to Wentz.
You can say there’s no correlation between drafting Love and Hurts with the play of Rodgers and Wentz. I wouldn’t say you’re wrong, but what we do know is that Wentz is playing the worst football of his career post Hurts, and Rodgers play has sky rocketed off a three year skid post Love. Make of that what you will.