Tom Brady is here for the now but what about the future? Bruce Arians and company made a clear decision that the time to win is right now when they went out and got Brady but it’d be downright reckless to ignore the future while in an all out win-now mode. That leads us to the draft, the most cost efficient way to build for the future while still living in the now.
We all know the top two round options but what about a guy who may last beyond then? That leads us to Jalen Hurts, who is already a household name across the southeast thanks to his playing days at Alabama and Oklahoma. Let’s take a further look into the dual-threat quarterback.
Jalen Hurts’ Collegiate Career
Hurts is one of the more accomplished quarterbacks in this years draft given the success he had leading two separate big time powerhouse teams. From his play at Alabama, to being replaced mid-championship game by Tua to his transfer to Oklahoma, Hurts displayed incredible maturity and growth as a young athlete. Let’s jump in and take a closer look at his journey.
Coming out of high school, Hurts was the top rated dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Hurts was coached by his father at Channelview High School. Upon arrival at Alabama, Hurts stepped right into a pivotal role and started 14 games en route to the National Championship game while earning Freshman All-American, First team All-SEC, SEC Freshman of the Year and Maxwell Award finalist honors.
Hurts would again lead the team to the title game in 2017 as a sophomore before being replaced at half-time against Clemson by Tua Tagovailoa. The rest is history as far as his Alabama career goes. Hurts would backup Tua in 2018 and ultimately would make the decision to transfer as a graduate student.
At Oklahoma, Hurts didn’t skip a beat as he lead the Sooners to the playoffs after winning the Big 12 title game. Hurts completed just under 70% of his passes for 3,800 yards and 32 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. His dual threat presence was certainly felt across the nation as the quarterback took 20 rushes in for scores.
Hurts has been compared to Tim Tebow by some and it’s easy to see why from a positive standpoint. Hurts is built more like a tight end when looking at his lower body than he is a prototypical quarterback and because of this, he’s been able to take on defenders when evading the pocket much like a running back.
Hurts has a strong arm, far beyond what Tebow showed in his University of Florida days and Hurts has displayed the ability to put some touch on his passes. Hurts showed quite a bit of growth in his passing ability from the time he spent at Alabama to where he finished his career under Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma.
Hurts has shown the ability to adjust and learn knew schemes which will be a big component in adjusting to the NFL game. His ability to push the ball downfield and extend plays are prime building blocks for teams willing to let the young playcaller sit back and learn behind a veteran.
Where Hurts needs to show some significant growth is in his consistency to hit moving targets. This sounds obvious but it’s something that really stuck out when watching the game cut-ups. Hurts gets real streaky and can be a downright joy to watch but far too often he appears to lack a feel for the flow of the game and getting the ball out in rhythm.
Hurts will also have to dial down the amount of times he forces throws that simply don’t need to happen. There are several throws a game that are high risk, low reward all while a check-down or simple scramble to an open field would have sufficed.
Hurts also needs to work on his willingness to let a play develop. Hurts when feeling pressure will leave the pocket and take off just a tick too soon. Some development in this area could have netted him more success in college.
Mechanically is another area where Hurts could use some polishing. Hurts will throw from different positions and angles which is great, it’s when he has the time to set and throw that things sometime get a bit rushed. Proper focus and work should be able to iron this out a good bit. Buccaneer fans know this far too well from our time watching Jameis Winston and Josh Freeman.
Why The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Need Jalen Hurts
The Buccaneers need Jalen Hurts for a few reasons. First and foremost, the present is Tom Brady but the future is unknown. With so much invested in the now, Tampa Bay would be smart to have a future plan to grow behind arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Hurts has the track record of being a hard worker and great teammate, why not invest in him for the future of this team?
Next up, the arm talent is legit. Hurts can make the throws but needs polishing. What better spot for Jalen than behind the ultimate gamer at the position? Hurts is going to put in the work to learn, and Tom Brady would be the ideal quarterback for Hurts to study from a preparation and in game decision making standpoint.
Finally, the team needs Jalen Hurts because it gives the team an affordable and talented back up should Brady get hurt. At this point in time, the team has Blaine Gabbert who can’t be counted on to stay healthy or come in and perform at a high level and alongside Gabbert is career Tampa Bay back-up, Ryan Griffin. Hurts will almost certainly be a day two or three pick and in turn, be far more cost effective than the current back-ups while potentially being a more talented option should Brady go down (knock on wood).
Should It Happen?
I’m usually on the fence if not leading towards “no” on these types of things but this just feels different. Jalen Hurts will potentially be there in the third round and once the team reaches that third to fourth round range I can’t help but feel like a Jalen Hurts is worth a look.
Realistically, Hurts projects to a low level starter or potential career back-up. In the right situation, maybe sitting for two years behind Brady and with this coaching staff filled with quarterback coaches, they can elevate his ceiling a bit. So given that possibility, knowing this offense likes to push the ball downfield and knowing how the league is gearing more and more towards quarterbacks who can do it all, it’s hard to say no if the price (or in this case round and pick) is right.
So what say you Buccaneer fans? Should it happen?
How do you feel about Jalen Hurts for the Bucs in the 2020 NFL Draft?
This poll is closed
Draft him no matter what
Trade back candidate
I wouldn’t mind it
There are better options