While most of the attention entering the NFL Draft naturally goes to those projected at the top of the field. Former Alabama/Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts may be the biggest name expected to go in the middle rounds.
Hurts is coming off of an impressive final college season at Oklahoma. He transferred to the Sooners after three years with Alabama, where he was SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman, and helped lead the team to a national title. His abilities as a dual-threat player make him very intriguing as he looks to enter the pros.
At Oklahoma this fall, Hurts threw for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He completed 69.7-percent of his passes for a gaudy 11.3 yards per attempt. He also ran for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Mel Kiper Jr. has weighed in on Hurts’ NFL Draft candidacy. On a conference call with reporters, the ESPN analyst said he has a fourth round grade on him. Interestingly, he believes that Taysom Hill’s success as a do-it-all gadget-type player for the New Orleans Saints could help Hurts over the next few months.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. conference call has started. He has a 4th round grade on Alabama/Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts as a Taysom HIll-type gadget player.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) February 19, 2020
Those sentiments are similar to the ones expressed by Hurts’ first college coach, Nick Saban. He thinks that Jalen Hurts can have a bright future given where the NFL is headed:
“So I think the success of those players has kind of broken the stereotype that you have to be a drop-back passer and that’s the only way you can win in the NFL. You see [Patrick] Mahomes and [Lamar Jackson] and all these guys who are athletic guys that can make plays with their feet and create a lot of problems for the old, stereotype NFL defense.”
There are definite questions about Hurts as a pure passer, and his Senior Bowl performance wasn’t a huge success, but whichever team gets him will be drafting a proven winner and a tremendous athlete.