By: Michelle R. Martinelli |
March 7, 2020 10: 52 am
Former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts isn’t expected to be selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Although he’s undoubtably an exceptional athlete, there are still questions the 2019 Heisman Trophy finalist’s decision-making abilities, and he’s probably more likely a second- or third-round pick.
With a strong performance recently at the NFL combine, Hurts ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash, ranking him second among quarterbacks who participated and in the top-20 when his time is compared with running backs. And at Oklahoma for his last college season, he accounted for a total of 5,149 yards and 52 total touchdowns with a 69.7 completion percentage.
Still, he’s projected to be a solid backup quarterback in the NFL with the potential to be a starter. But that’s obviously not stopping him from making an argument for himself ahead of the NFL Draft in late April.
“There’s a thrill in not being satisfied that keeps you going, and I just want to continue to take steps every day,” Hurts told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “I want to be the best version of myself. There’s no ceiling on my game. There isn’t a cap. …
“I’m a dog, I’m a relentless competitor, I’m a leader, holding myself accountable to do my job for the sake of the guys and the team. No other guy in this class has the ability that I have in terms of getting freaky or making all the throws.”
In an interview with the Outside The Lines reporter, Hurts also opened up briefly about his relationship with his former teammate, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who’s projected to be a top-5 NFL Draft pick and could go as high as No. 2.
As a true freshman, Tagovailoa replaced Hurts in the 2017-18 national championship game and led the Crimson Tide to the title. But the two have always been supportive of each other, and, as Hurts explained, that didn’t change when he transferred to Oklahoma.
About his relationship with Tagovailoa — who had two ankle surgeries and a hip surgery in the last two seasons with the Crimson Tide — Hurts told ESPN:
“That’s a relationship that will never go away, die down. Talked to him and kept in touch with him all year. I’m pulling for him, as always.”
“I’ve got a lot of appreciation for him, a lot of respect for him. … I think he’s a relentless competitor, takes a straight-on approach at what he does, and those similarities are the exact reason why I chose to go to that university.”