The Philadelphia Eagles’ interest in Kenny Pickett might just be something

(Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Logan Whitton/Getty Images) /

When news broke that Pitt Panthers QB Kenny Pickett shared a meal with Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks’ coach Brian Johnson, it created some waves around the fanbase. After suffering through two straight seasons of quarterback controversy with a draft sandwiched in between, some just wanted the chatter to be over and for Jalen Hurts to maintain his spot as the team’s QB1. Others, conversely, wanted something more tangible as they aren’t sold on the Alabama/Oklahoma prospect and felt that his game could ultimately limit the team’s ceiling in 2022 and beyond.

Is either side “right” per se? Not necessarily, but for the sake of presenting a balanced argument, those are the two prevailing schools of thought.

Since then, even more quarterbacks have had their Pro Days, many of which had the Eagles in attendance, and the questions surrounding how the team will use their three first-round picks have only continued to grow.

Is it all just a smokescreen to elicit potential trade-up targets? Or could the Eagles actually be considering a change at the game’s most important position, presumably for someone with a bit bigger arm?

Well, according to Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the teams that seem genuinely interested in his all-time leading passer’s services, which will surely only add fuel to this already contentious situation. Buckle up, folks; this next month is going to be interesting.

Could the Philadelphia Eagles really kick it with Kenny Pickett?

What is Nick Sirianni’s offensive scheme? Is it the high-flying offense he helped Frank Reich craft in Indianapolis that saw Andrew Luck throw for 4,593 yards in 2018? Or what about the dink-and-dunk, ground-and-pound offense from the next season, when Jacoby Brissett took over for Luck after his surprise retirement? What about the offense he ran with the Philadelphia Eagles, or should I say offenses, as the scheme he ran in Week 1 looked a whole lot different than the run-heavy attack Sirianni deployed in Week 16 versus the New York Giants?

That, my friends, is the question the Eagles need to answer heading into 2022 and should play a big role in the player they hope to sign/draft moving forward.

Now personally, I believe Sirianni is a very good head coach who is genuinely willing to adjust his scheme to fit his players, even if it takes him a little longer than one would hope to make it happen. Sirianni was able to craft a fantastic rushing attack midway through the season that proved unrivaled across the NFL landscape heading into Week 8, and even if Howie Roseman is able to fill his cupboard with a fantastic collection of playmakers, I would imagine that will remain a big part of his offensive identity moving forward, especially if he’s able to land a legit power punch to complement Miles Sanders’ fitness game.

But what about the passing game? Is Sirianni willing to keep his passing game mostly horizontal with a few deep shots sprinkled in for good measure? Or would he rather radically reconfigure his offense yet again like the good ‘ole days in Indianapolis and go back to the deep passing game he turned to early on in the 2021 season, when Jalen Hurts was throwing for 300-plus passing yards a game mostly in the fourth quarter?

If the answer is the latter, Hurts very well could run that offense, as he’ll surely spend his entire offseason working on the weakness in his game and will come back for Year 3 a better player, but if the Eagles’ player evaluation department doesn’t think he’ll get there, or would rather roll into 2022 with a rookie contract quarterback who is under team control on a not-too-expensive contract for the next five seasons, then the prospects of drafting another quarterback may prove tempting.

Kenny Pickett, to his credit, checks many of the boxes both Howie Roseman and his head coach have looked for in a starting quarterback. Like Hurts, he’s fast, with a fake slide so lethal it forced the NCAA to change their rules. He’s also got a very good arm, great instincts, and the great honor of having broken Pitt’s all-time passing record; a record set by Dan Marino well before the New Jersey native was born. While he may be getting the same sort of hype as Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, or Trevor Lawrence coming out of college, Pickett is a player worth betting on who could have a very, very long career in the NFL for whichever team drafts him.

Will that team be the Philadelphia Eagles? I guess we will all see soon enough.

Next. Good, let Kyle Hamilton slip all the way to 15. dark

Who knows, maybe this is all for not. Maybe Pat Narduzzi was trying to hype up his star quarterback, maybe Brian Johnson asked for a formal dinner to learn about a potential future division rival, and maybe Jalen Hurts will be under center come Week 1 laughing about this late March smokescreen, but considering the current state of the team, which Howie Roseman describes as “building,” nothing should be off the table, not even quarterback. If Kenny Pickett grades out higher than Hurts and he’s there at 15, he very well should be in the conversation. And if he’s the highest-graded player on the board – which he probably won’t be but could be at 19 – then the team might just pull the trigger and make him a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.