As the 2020 NFL Draft remains distant, some fan bases are already looking ahead at potential franchise quarterback options. Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon QB Justin Herbert are set to headline the upcoming draft class, but many are overlooking the surging case of Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts.
Hurts was a graduate transfer from Alabama, and has fit perfectly into a Lincoln Riley offense that assisted in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray winning consecutive Heisman awards, which ultimately led to them being drafted #1 overall in their respected drafts.
Compared to NFL Talent
In order to evaluate where Hurts is as a prospect, here is a college comparison between him and a current NFL quarterback.
Hurts: 7,700 passing yards, 68 TD, 15 INT, 162.6 QBR, 2,681 rushing yards, 33 TD
Current NFL QB: 9,376 passing yards, 70 TD, 23 INT, 146.0 QBR, 2,521 rushing yards, 41 TD
That current NFL quarterback is none other than Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott. Keep in mind, the 2019 season isn’t even over for Hurts. If you think about it, both quarterbacks are riding similar paths towards success. As a result, Prescott wasn’t drafted until the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Current Draft Stock
It’s rather difficult to call Hurts a shoe-in to be selected in the first round of the 2020 Draft. Other names outside of Tagovailoa and Herbert include Jake Fromm, Jordan Love, and Jacob Eason. For any quarterback-hungry front offices, Hurts will have a difficult time climbing up the draft board until most of these names are off the list.
Still, the past few years have shown us that the NFL Draft is unpredictable. Many didn’t have Mayfield or Murray being selected the first round, let alone with the #1 overall pick. Just last year, the Baltimore Ravens traded up to the end of the first round to grab Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.
More than likely, Hurts is a Day Two prospect with potential to be reached on Day One. While teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals will be eager to reach on a more conservative selection, Hurts will find a home with a franchise that has an expiring contract on hand.
3 Teams That Need Jalen Hurts
The 2020 NFL Draft isn’t until April, but fans are already wondering who their favorite team will land. After looking through each team carefully, three franchises stand out as potential suitors for the Oklahoma senior.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled under Jameis Winston, who holds a starting record of 23-37. Currently, he is on pace for a career-high 25 INT; seven more than he’s ever thrown in a single season. With a young offense that already has Mike Evans and OJ Howard in the mix, it makes sense to change the scenery under center before another rebuild is called upon.
With the latest quarterback development in Tennessee, the Titans are currently relying on QB Ryan Tannehill for the moment. Although he picked up a win for the first time since December 9th, 2018, he won’t be a long-term solution. Marcus Mariota, 25, has four games this season in which he has thrown for less than two touchdowns. With a roster that has an above-average defense, they now are in need of someone to spark the offense.
Lastly, a team with an outside shot are the Los Angeles Chargers. Although Jalen Hurts is a far different quarterback than Philip Rivers, perhaps a new chapter is needed. The 37-year old becomes a free agent at the end of the season, and among active starting quarterbacks, he ranks third in age behind Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
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