“I Thought I Was Going To Pittsburgh” | Eagles QB Jalen Hurts Thought The Steelers Would Make Him The Heir Apparent To Ben Roethlisberger

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Prior to the 2020 NBA draft, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts believed he was headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former Alabama Crimson Tide and Oklahoma Sooners star thought he’d be learning from future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger, but he instead became the Eagles starter late in his rookie season.

At the time of the draft Hurts wasn’t considered a first-round talent, but a second or third-round selection. Hurts thought he was going to “Terrible Towel” land with the 48th pick, but he instead went to the land of cheesesteaks with the 53rd pick.

During a recent appearance on the “New Heights” podcast with Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce and his brother Jason — who happens to be the anchor of the Eagles offensive line that protects Hurts weekly — Hurts said:

“Howie Roseman gave me a call and, ironically, you know we played Pittsburgh this week. We played Minnesota, we played a lot of teams that — Raiders last year — I thought I would be at one of those places.

“I know Pittsburgh had maybe the 48th pick or 40-something. Their first pick was in the second round and I thought I was going to Pittsburgh. So when I saw PA on the phone, I’m like, ‘Oh, this is Pittsburgh.’ ”

Hurts continued …

“I didn’t know what to expect. So when they said the Philadelphia Eagles … I had no idea I was coming. I had no idea. I never really talked about it, but I had no idea.”

“I had an interview with them at the draft, like an official interview. From the interview, I didn’t think I was going to be an Eagle.”

That assumption by Hurts changed in a heartbeat as he became an Eagle, and let’s just say the aforementioned Roseman is glad he put that card in. Hurts is an MVP candidate and maestro of the lone unbeaten team in the NFL at 8-0.

Hurts Has Been Dynamic For The Eagles, Steelers Have Struggled To Replace Big Ben

This season Hurts has shown marked improvement in just about every area. He’s passing the football better and he’s processing information much quicker. His understanding of situational football has improved and is a huge reason the Eagles rank at the top of the league in third-down conversion rate.

But while Hurts has flourished, the team he thought would draft him has struggled to replace their stalwart 18-year signal-caller. They began the season with 2017 No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky under center, and he flopped. They then turned to 2022 first-round selection Kenny Pickett, who’s struggled, as most rookies do.

While there are no guarantees that Hurts would succeed in the Steelers system, it still makes you go wonder what could have been. Especially when a guy has his team undefeated heading into Week 10.

Hurts Stats Speak MVP Candidate

This season Hurts has passed for over 2,000 yards, 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’s also rushed for 326 yards and six more paydirt touches.

The Eagles are the best team in the league as of now, but unless Hurts leads them on a deep playoff run questions of him being a franchise QB will unfortunately linger.