Despite being the afterthought of his draft class, being drafted as a “backup QB”, then being proclaimed by many as a replaceable QB; Jalen Hurts has shined brighter than most believed he would. Don’t get me wrong, Hurts still has a lot of growing up to do within his game but mentally, the kid is as sharp as a nine-year veteran in this league.
When Hurts first came onto the scene, excitement was through the roof. Everyone knew what to expect out of the running QB as he dashed and juked his way into the hearts of Eagles fans. Although Wentz was still in the picture and deemed the franchise QB, everyone knew that it was only a matter of time.
Jalen Hurts shares a certain resemblance to an Eagles QB that never was. Back in the 2012 NFL draft, the Eagles front office had their eyes set on a special signal-caller who fell to the third round. They expected to draft him, but Seattle pipped them to the post.
Nearly ten years later, that QB has been established as one of the elite, and his name is Russell Wilson. The Eagles front office didn’t want to miss out on their guy a second time, and just like that, Jalen Hurts was headed to Philadelphia.
Hurts has a very unique ceiling. Off the field, he’s mature beyond his years and carries himself as a leader should. On the field, he’s explosive. He’s extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands and his ability to throw on the run accurately has caused defenses to have fits week in and week out.
Forget about the fact that Hurts has rushed for 784 yards and has set a franchise record of 10 rushing touchdowns. We all knew he could do that. That is his floor. Let’s talk about the improvement in his accuracy from last season to this season. The jump from 52% to 61% is a big first step in hopes of him becoming a better passing QB.
We’ve seen it all before, most of these elite QB’s have started their careers as game managers. Tom Brady was once a game manager that evolved into the greatest QB of all time. Russell Wilson went from a running QB who started as a game manager to the elite QB we’ve seen over the years. We could even mention Dak Prescott. People always pointed out the inconsistencies in Prescott’s arm as a sign of weakness for the future. Prescott is now a top 10 QB in the league who has a completed 66% of his passes in his career.
Hurts has the potential to be one of these guys. While many would deem his ceiling as Dak Prescott, I’ll be bold or crazy enough to say that’s his floor. The growing pains that Hurts have gone through this season were natural, correctable, and temporary. He’s too determined to get better to not eventually make that jump.
If Hurts can improve on his vision and timing this offseason then that would lead to Nick Sirianni opening up the playbook for his QB. That could lead to a younger version of Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. A coach-QB duo that could lead the franchise to multiple winning seasons for years to come.
I’ve had more moments of doubts than moments of assurance when it comes to Hurts, but it’s because we know his potential. When you understand someone’s ceiling then all you want to see is their greatness day in and day out. Jalen Hurts has that potential, it’s just a matter of being patient enough to see it through.
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