NFL Draft: The Potential Franchise Quarterbacks Part 4
BY ADAM GREENE
3. JALEN HURTS, OKLAHOMA
2019: 69.7 completion percentage, 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 1,298 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns, 6-2, 218 pounds
That’s right. Jalen Hurts. If you were expecting Justin Herbert here, you are in for a shocker as to where he ends up in my hierarchy.
When I see Hurts, I see Dak Prescott and if wasn’t for two freakish prospects rarely (if ever) seen in the draft process, he’d be the top pick on my board.
Hurts was a good college quarterback at Alabama and did just as he was asked in an offense that, it turns out, his talents far surpassed. When he transferred to Oklahoma, we got to really see what Hurts can do.
Lincoln Riley is an NFL coach that chooses, every year for some reason, to remain in Norman. Each offseason he is courted by NFL teams with job openings and every time, for whatever reason, he turns those jobs down to remain the most talented play designer and caller in NCAA football.
He is a guy that NFL coaches openly steal from. And he unleashed Jalen Hurts in a way no one was expecting last season as the senior QB put up video game numbers in a video game offense.
You see it in the film, the accuracy, the pocket presence and the ability to take that open hole and rush for a freakish touchdown.
This play right here is the one I want you to look at. Hurts has a rusher in his face. Any coach would tell the QB to throw that ball away and reload, but Hurts has the knowledge of the offense and trust in his legs and arm to toss a touchdown on a throw that maybe no one else on this list could make. It’s across his body, it’s perfectly placed where only his receiver can catch it and it’s off his back foot while still moving. Anybody else tries that throw, it’s a pick in the end zone.
Now, remember when we talked about Joe Burrow and his killer instinct. Look at this.
Hurts makes the exact same kind of play. He’s evaded the rush, has green in front of him and, unlike Burrow, he’s got running back skills which he has shown plenty of times. If he takes off here, there’s reason to believe he himself could bull his way into the end zone. He doesn’t, though. He’s got his eyes on the prize and tosses a dart for a touchdown.
But here’s the real kicker with Hurts. Nobody has a first round grade on him (except me), so somebody, much like the Dallas Cowboys did with Prescott in 2016, is about to steal a potential franchise quarterback in the later rounds.
Where will he go? Pre Dak, No question he’s a fourth or fifth rounder, but there’s somebody in one of these draft rooms that’s seeing the same stuff I am on this film and already making plans. There’s no reason to spend a first or second on him, but he’s going in the third round and he’s going to a place that recognizes his potential and is ready to nab one of the five best players in this entire draft.
Frankly, it should be Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay, plugging Hurts in right after Tom Brady either falters because of his age or decides to finally retire.
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