3. Jalen Hurts is more talented than he is given credit for
It is easy to fall out of love with Hurts if you read his scouting reports. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein’s scouting report of Hurts includes the following:
“Hurts is a more accurate passer and better runner than Tebow but is inconsistent as a decision-maker and tends to break the pocket when throws are there to be made […] He’ll struggle to beat NFL defenses from the pocket, but his ability to grind out yards on the ground and make off-schedule plays should make him a solid backup with upward mobility”
Not the greatest scouting report, right? I would not take these too seriously, even if they are valuable. Zierlein penned the following about Deshaun Watson heading into the 2017 NFL Draft.
“Teams will have to weigh the inconsistent field vision and decision-making against his size, athleticism, leadership and production. While not perfect, teams can add checks to both arm and accuracy boxes for Watson.”
Watson’s grade, according to Zierlein? 5.98. Hurts’ grade? 6.14. Hurts ran a faster 40 with a higher vertical jump and a longer broad jump. While Hurts had fewer total yards, he averaged more yards per attempt, passing touchdown per attempt with a lower interception rate than Watson did in college.
Despite all this, Watson was viewed as valued a bonafide first-round quarterback heading into the draft. Hurts is viewed as a mid-round target with some potential in the right system.
Hurts also had almost double the number of rushing yards and over double the number of rushing touchdowns. Yes, things are different in different years and he was facing easier defenses, but it is not like the ACC is full of defensive powerhouses, either.
This is not to say that Hurts is going to be a better NFL quarterback than Deshaun Watson, but it can highlight that things are not always what they seem and that Hurts might be a better prospect than people are giving him credit for.
If he can fill the holes in his game, which one year of sitting will do, then he would be an excellent mid-round selection by the LA Chargers.