Pittsburgh has been talked about as one of the teams in the running for Jalen Hurts. Here are five things Steelers should love about the Oklahoma quarterback.
Since the 2019 season ended, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts is a player whose name has been linked to the Steelers. However, that connection died down after Pittsburgh failed to send a representative to Oklahoma’s Pro Day prior to the travel bans.
Now, the ‘Hurts to Pittsburgh’ talk is alive and well again. Mel Kiper of ESPN recently made mention of the Steelers and Patriots as two teams to keep an eye on for potential landing spots for the Oklahoma quarterback.
I’ve been a bigger fan of Hurts than most from the start. Today’s NFL is different than it was just a decade ago, and Hurts fits the bill. Here are five things Steelers should all love about Jalen Hurts.
Unlike Joe Burrow who turns 24 years old during his rookie season, Jalen Hurts is the second-youngest quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. Hurts is just 21 years old.
While there isn’t a direct correlation between quarterback success and age entering the league, Hurts could sit behind Ben Roethlisberger for two years and be just 23-years old entering his 3rd NFL season. He could use a season or two to continue to develop before being thrust into action, and age is on his side here.
Despite his youth, Jalen Hurts was one of the most productive college quarterbacks in the nation. As a senior, he led an impressive offense at Oklahoma with 52 total touchdowns and just 8 interceptions on the season.
What’s more impressive is his constant willingness to look down the field. Hurts averaged an eye-popping 11.3 yards per attempt. This number was tied with Tua Tagovailoa and surpassed Joe Burrow (10.8), Justin Herbert (9.0), and Jordan Love (7.2).
Jalen Hurts has been described by former teammates and coaches of having the utmost character. Those surrounding him couldn’t believe how well he handled losing his starting job to Tua at Alabama, and he continued to be a terrific teammate and leader in the locker room. This is the type of character you want on your football team.
Hurts is exactly what teams are looking for in today’s NFL. Though there are questions about his processing skills, the Oklahoma quarterback has blazing 4.59 speed for the position.
However, running isn’t his first instinct. Hurts looks to throw the ball down the field, and he can extend the play with his legs. With talented dual-threat signal-callers in players like Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen, Hurts could be next in line as a modern-day NFL passer.
A lack of confidence to weather the storm is something that could break an NFL quarterback or keep them from reaching their potential. This is something that’s not going to be an issue with Hurts.
Jalen may have lost his job with the nation’s top football program at Alabama, but he remained poised and confident as he led the Oklahoma Sooners to the 7th ranked team in the nation and his 12-2 record was as good as both Baker Mayfield’s and Kyler Murray’s in the previous two seasons.
I understand the cause for concern when it comes to the Steelers drafting Jalen Hurts. He doesn’t have an elite level arm and his accuracy will need to improve at the next level. Still, Hurts is a player that possesses some outstanding traits, and Pittsburgh fans should love that about him.