Jalen Hurts has had one of the most interesting journeys of any prospect in this year’s draft. Starting out at Alabama, Jalen Hurts made national headlines as he led the Crimson Tide to a national championship against the Georgia Bulldogs.
However, after struggling in the first half, Hurts was benched in favor of true freshman, Tua Tagovailoa. After becoming the backup for the whole next year, he made the decision to transfer to Oklahoma. Fast forward a year, and Hurts is the Heisman runner-up and he made a college football playoff appearance with the Sooners. Let’s look at some plays that illustrate who Jalen Hurts is as a player.
Jalen Hurts – The Good:
One of the best parts of Hurts’ game is his legs. And in the play above, he uses them to the best of his ability. On this play, Hurts handles the snap well and feels the backside pressure. He rolls to his right, extends the play, and delivers a great ball to Ceedee Lamb.
This play shows Hurts’ ability to use his legs to escape pressure, extend plays, and throw accurately on the run. If there’s a better play to illustrate what you want to see from your mobile quarterback, I don’t know what it is.
Jalen Hurts – The Bad:
The play above, once again, showcases Hurts’ magician like ability to escape pressure, but that’s about it. Once Hurts escapes pressure, he’s able to keep his eyes downfield to try and find an open receiver. Right before three defenders come crashing down on him, he thinks he’s found an open target, the only problem, was that he wasn’t open. Hurts throws back across his body and a defender comes right across the flight path of the ball and intercepts it.
The first problem with this throw is the mechanics. Hurts is under a lot of pressure, but he throws off his back foot; which causes the ball to lose velocity. The next problem with this play is the decision. Hurts decides to throw across his body and the ball gets intercepted. This play wasn’t the best moment from Jalen Hurts, in a situation where he could’ve thrown the ball away and settled for a field goal, he threw an interception.
Where He Ranks:
Previously, I ranked the Senior Bowl quarterbacks that were on the roster when it was announced. Now that Hurts has been added to that roster, it’s time to rank him with the other players.
I have Hurts ranked as QB2 on the senior bowl roster, below Jordan Love and just above Anthony Gordon. After a wild college career, Hurts will be at the senior bowl to showcase his talents to the NFL, and it should be fun to watch.
There might not be a more mentally tough player in the country than Jalen Hurts. No matter what happened, getting benched, rarely playing for a whole season, or transferring, Hurts prepared like he was the starting quarterback.
During the championship game against Georgia, Hurts was on the bench helping Tagovailoa and providing him advice only he would know. When he was benched the next season, he didn’t complain once, and when his name was called, he was ready. Finally, when he got another shot at Oklahoma, he made the most out of it and won a Big 12 championship and led his team to the playoff.
Jalen Hurts is competitive by nature, and teams will see that at the senior bowl. This is a guy NFL teams will want in their locker room to make the guys around him better.