Jalen Hurts is facing the kind of criticism a lot of undersized, mobile quarterbacks face. The Oklahoma signal caller joined the Sooners after losing his starting spot to Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama and flourished in 2019. He proved that he can be more than a runner by throwing for 3,851 yards with 32 scores and eight interceptions in his lone season with Oklahoma. But he still isn’t seen as a player who can lead an NFL team as a rookie. He doesn’t have the arm talent of Kyler Murray, the speed and elusiveness of Lamar Jackson, or the size of Josh Allen.
While Hurts has the potential to be successful, he’s not close to the cream of the crop in the eyes of scouts. He’ll likely be selected in the second round or later by a team looking for an insurance policy, but that doesn’t mean he can make an impact as a rookie.
Hurts is a winner. He went 38-4 as a starter in college and has the kind of athleticism and toughness a lot of players at his position don’t have. He can buy himself extra time with his legs when under pressure and can take off when everything breaks down. That’s a trait that’s helped other quarterbacks similar to him find a place in the NFL.
Sometimes he relies on his legs too much though. His habit of running when staying in the pocket for an extra second could help might limit opportunities to make big plays down the field. His accuracy has been questioned though. You have to to be able to put the ball on target and make the most of your receiver’s tools to be successful at the NFL level. Hurts needs to show that he can be consistent to get on the field.
Here’s what scouts had to say about Hurts.
He’ll struggle to beat NFL defenses from the pocket, but his ability to grind out yards on the ground and make off-schedule plays should make him a solid backup with upward mobility. — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
Slow processor that doesn’t work efficiently enough in rhythm. Has a tardy trigger and he prefers to throw to targets that are established as open. Only has general accuracy and his passes tend to float on him. Supporting cast elevates him. — The Draft Network’s Joe Marino
Hurts is a perfect Day 2 QB in today’s NFL, where he can shine via on extended plays, mobility, play-making ability and comfort off script. Hurts’ general accuracy may temper his overall ceiling but he’s a developmental starter caliber player. — The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs
Mock Draft Results
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Late second round or early third round
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Out of first round
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: Third round or later
Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: Out of first round
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
A lot could happen for Hurts in his first NFL season. He’ll likely start 2020 as a backup quarterback, but could get the chance to play some games because of injuries or the starter underperforming. Lamar Jackson was QB29 in season-long fantasy and on DraftKings as a rookie despite only starting in seven games. He played in 16 though, as the Baltimore Ravens used him to take direct snaps. Hurts’ athleticism could earn him some of the same opportunities, but nowhere near as dynamic as Jackson. Hurts will either be a non factor or crack the top 50 at best. He won’t blossom into a star as a rookie.
Fantasy impact: Career
Hurts’ career impact depends on who he lands with. It’s unlikely that he’ll ever become an elite passer, so he’ll need to find a team that wants to capitalize on the skills he does have. If finds a team with a strong running game and solid offensive line, he could be a top 15 fantasy quarterback. The Pittsburgh Steelers could be a good fit, as they don’t have a first-round pick and need to find a successor for Ben Roethlisberger. But other teams that have pieces to complement his skill set will take a long look at him. Hurts’ passing prowess will continue to get better with time, and dual-threat quarterbacks are taking over the fantasy world.