*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Some Teams Still See Hurts as a Late-RounderUpdated Nov. 1, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
A week ago here in the Hot Press, we wrote about how multiple team sources thought Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray had the potential to be a top-10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Well, another highly touted Sooner is not held in the same regard by some NFL teams. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts has gotten a lot of hype and media attention proclaiming a vast improvement as a passer on his part, but not all team sources feel that way. Some teams are grading Hurts as a late-rounder, with certain evaluators thinking he should move to fullback for the NFL.
Hurts’ story is well known after starting out at Alabama and being replaced as the Crimson Tide starter by Tua Tagovailoa. Many were excited to see how Hurts would develop after landing at Oklahoma to lead the Sooners’ point-machine offense, which has produced back-to-back No. 1-overall picks at quarterback with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Hurts’ stat line this season is huge, buoyed by the good talent around him and playing in a conference that struggles to play defense. He has completed 74 percent of his passes for 2,468 yards with 21 touchdowns and three interceptions. Team evaluators, however, see a lot of issues with Hurts as a passer as it relates to him projecting to the NFL.
In speaking to some sources, they feel that Hurts struggles to read defenses, looks to run after one read too often, is not that accurate, does not have impressive arm strength, and is not a great runner for the NFL. They feel that Hurts is a good kid, who is tough and a winner, so they could see a team taking him in the late rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft if there is a team that really likes him and wants to work with him. Some feel that he should move to fullback for the NFL.
Of course, other teams can have different opinions. Many of the same things were said about Tim Tebow coming out of Florida, but current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels drafted Tebow in the first round while serving as the head coach of the Broncos. While Hurts has generated a lot of media hype at Oklahoma this season, a number of team sources still see passing limitations that cause them to grade him as a late-round pick.