There have been whispers surrounding Jalen Hurts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is my scouting report on the Oklahoma quarterback.
Jalen Hurts is a name that doesn’t come without controversy – especially when tying his name to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many fans seem to be split on the idea of drafting Ben Roethlisberger’s eventual successor in the first place, and there are some wildly varying opinions on Hurts.
After losing his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa and transferring to Oklahoma, Hurts had the best season of his collegiate career as a senior – earning 52 total touchdowns and 8 interceptions on his way to a 12-2 record. Here is my Steelers scouting report on Jalen Hurts:
QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
- A flat-out winner in college with a career record of 38-4
- Thoroughly productive as a senior, stats on par with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in previous two seasons for Oklahoma
- Tough, poised, and confident player – not much phases him
- Extremely durable and isn’t afraid of contact
- Big-play quarterback who often looks to extend the play
- More than respectable 11.3 yards per attempt in 2019
- Mobile quarterback who can move the chains with his legs
- Good accuracy in intermediate throws, flashes ability under pressure
- At his best when extending the play
- Powerful runner as a quarterback with the ability to finish and take contact
- High character player who was well-respected by teammates
- Ability to process the play fast enough is a big question mark
- Inconsistent patience in the pocket
- Often throws without setting his feet
- Enough velocity on his throws, but doesn’t have a cannon
- Generally accurate passer, not pinpoint passer
- Needs to trust his protection, too quick to bail at times
- Needs to climb the pocket rather than bail altogether
Jalen Hurts’s fit in Pittsburgh
Jalen Hurts may not have a cannon that cuts through the Pittsburgh wind like Ben Roethlisberger, but his arm is plenty good enough for the position. Hurts likely needs two years to sit behind a starter and continue to develop. Fortunately, Pittsburgh can provide that for him.
Hurts is still just 21 years old and has shown improvements as a passer every year. He fits the mold of today’s NFL quarterback and is an ideal developmental candidate to have sitting behind a future Hall of Fame passer.
Pro Comparison: Tim Tebow
Despite his brief stint with the Broncos, Tim Tebow didn’t have a lot of success as a former first-round quarterback. However, Jalen Hurts has more upside as a passer. Still, it’s not hard to see why these two players have been compared.
Hurts is both a better runner and passer entering the league than Tebow, and he doesn’t have the major flaws in his mechanics. In addition, Hurts was more productive as a passer in his senior year. If all goes well, Hurts could end up being a better passing version of Tim Tebow, but still have the grit, competitiveness, and leadership to carry his team.
Despite recent talks from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, I still think it’s unlikely Jalen Hurts winds up with the Steelers. However, Ben is in his final years, and he is a player that could quietly be on their radar in the 2020 NFL Draft.