Summary: Hurts' story is well known after he had a lot of success at Alabama, helping the program to some huge wins during his career with the team, but he really struggled as a pocket passer, which led to him becoming a backup. In 2018 as a backup, Hurts completed 73 percent of his passes for 765 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions. In 2017, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,081 yards with 17 touchdowns an interception. Hurts completed 63 percent of his passes as a freshman for 2,780 yards with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions while serving as a solid game manager for a team loaded with talent.
After Tua Tagovailoa took the starting job from Hurts at Alabama, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma for his senior year. Under Lincoln Riley, he completed 70 percent of his passes in 2019 for 3,851 yards with 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Hurts had a lot of good receiver talent to work with, and the Sooners became more of a running offense with him at quarterback compared to how they operated with Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield in the previous two seasons. League sources say Hurts is not the personality made out to be, and they heard from some staff at Oklahoma who are happy to see Hurts leave the program. Behind the scenes, it sounds as though things weren't as smooth for him in the transition from Alabama to Oklahoma.
ESPN and other media outlets hyped Hurts throughout 2019, but in speaking to some sources, they did not see Hurts that way. They feel he struggles to read defenses, too often after one read he looks to run, is not that accurate, does not have impressive arm strength, and is not a great runner for the NFL. They feel Hurts is tough and a winner, so they could see a team taking him in the mid-rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft if a team really likes him and wants to work with him as a backup quarterback who might be able to contribute somewhat, like Taysom Hill in New Orleans. Some feel Hurts should move to fullback for the NFL, as his struggles to see the field were given further proof at the Senior Bowl.
Hurts could sneak into the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft as a late third-round pick. If he doesn't go in Round 3, he probably will get selected in the fourth or fifth round.
Player Comparison: Pat White. Hurts and White (6-0, 205) are very similar as successful college quarterbacks who had passing limitations for the NFL. White was a bust as a second-round pick for the Dolphins in 2009. Hurts shouldn't go that high in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he would be better off trying to mimic Taysom Hill as an NFL player.