Jalen Hurts 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Jalen Hurts Overview
Position:
Quarterback
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 219 pounds
School: Oklahoma Sooners

Combine Performance Data

40-yard dash: 4.59 seconds (second-best among quarterbacks)
Vertical jump: 35 inches (tied for fourth-best among quarterbacks)
Broad jump: 10 feet, 5 inches (tied for best among quarterbacks)

Jalen Hurts 2020 NFL Draft Profile

The NFL is becoming more and more favorable towards athletic, dual-threat quarterbacks, and Jalen Hurts has a chance to be a prime beneficiary of this trend. After spending the majority of his college career at Alabama, Hurts spent his final year of eligibility with the Oklahoma Sooners. Taking over for Kyler Murray, Hurts came out of the gate hot. The transfer recorded 508 yards of total offense during his doubt, which was a sign of things to come.

Jalen Hurts had arguably the best season of his career with Oklahoma, completing 69.7% of his passes for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. As if that wasn’t enough, Hurts added another 1,298 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns on the ground. Hurts led his team all the way to the Peach Bowl before losing to LSU and eventual Heisman winner Joe Burrow.

A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Jalen Hurts started his college football career with the Alabama Crimson Tide. It didn’t take long for him to make an impact, as Hurts earned the starting job as during his second game as a true freshman. This made him the youngest quarterback to start for Alabama since Vince Sutton, and Hurts lived up to the hype. The true freshman completed 62.8% of his passes for 2,780 yards, 23 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while adding another 954 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. Hurts remained the starter as a sophomore but started losing playing time to Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa took over as the starter during Hurts’ Junior year, leading to his Senior year transfer.

Strengths

  • Electric athlete capable of beating defenses with both his arms and his legs;
  • Impressive ability to extend plays and make something out of nothing;
  • Nearly impossible to take down in the open field;
  • Strong sense of when and where pressure is coming from;
  • NFL-caliber arm strength, albeit not elite;
  • Succeeded in two different programs while playing at a high level.

Weaknesses

  • Not the most gifted thrower of the football;
  • Tends to give up on the play and scramble if the first read isn’t there;
  • Overall production heavily inflated by scheme/Ceedee Lamb;
  • Questionable delivery might not translate to the NFL;
  • Inconsistent accuracy needs to improve at the next level;
  • Ability to extend the play can be a double-edged sword and lead to dangerous decisions.

NFL Comparison: Colin Kaepernick

Teams With Need at Position: Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projection: Early second round

Jalen Hurts Bottom Line

Jalen Hurts is a talented playmaker who could thrive in the right scheme. While he’s not the same type of athlete as Lamar Jackson (nobody is), he could succeed in a similar system. Hurts’ running ability will translate to the NFL, as will his ability to extend the play and sense pressure. His mobility will force defenses to cheat and stop the run, which could lead to open throws in the correct scheme.

However, there’s a reason Hurts isn’t projected to be a top-10 pick. The Oklahoma product needs to improve his accuracy and his ability to read a defense. Back in college, Hurts typically gave up on the play and started scrambling when his first read wasn’t there. That won’t be as effective in the NFL, as the higher level of competition will be able to somewhat limit his big runs. His ability to make plays out of structure is one of his best assets, but he’s going to need to learn when to give up on a play instead of forcing a bad ball into coverage.

If Hurts is going to succeed, he’ll need a creative offensive coordinator capable of maximizing his athletic potential. This is true of all prospects, but it’s especially true of Hurts. If anyone drafts him and tries to turn him into a traditional pocket passer, it’s not going to work. Even if he gets a strong coaching staff, Hurts should probably spend a year on the bench before taking over in 2021.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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