Meet Rookie QB Jalen Hurts
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Doug Pederson has decided to go with rookie quarterback, Jalen Hurts as his starter against the Saints this Sunday.
Rookie Jalen Hurts, who was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, who has seen sporadic play throughout the season, got his first significant action last Sunday in Green Bay. Hurts threw his first career TD pass, on a 32-yard strike to Greg Ward.
Trailing 20-3 in the third quarter, in Green Bay, Carson Wentz was pulled, and Jalen Hurts was thrust into action. His touchdown to Ward and a punt return for a score by rookie Jalen Reagor made it a one possession game. Packers RB Aaron Jones’ 77-yard touchdown run put the game away. Hurts finished 5-12 for 109 yards and 1 TD pass.
The Eagles have become horrible to watch this season and the hope is Hurts can provide a spark and something to look forward to watching the rest of this season.
Here’s what you should know about Hurts:
He’s a winner: Hurts was the starting QB as a true freshman at Alabama under Nick Saban, becoming the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Alabama in 32 years. Hurts took his team all the way to the National Championship game, narrowly losing to Clemson 35-31. He helped Alabama win the title the following year as he started in the championship game, but was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa at half time.
He’s a dual-threat at quarterback: In 2019, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma, racking up 3,851 passing yards, 32 passing TD, along with 1,298 rushing yards, and 20 rushing touchdowns. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Joe Burrow.
He is very strong: Jalen Hurts is listed at 6-1 and 223 pounds. While at Oklahoma, he squatted nearly 600 lbs, a 585 lb rep, almost the weight of an adult black bear. According to media outlets, Hurts squatted 600 pounds during spring workouts at Alabama in 2018.
Jalen Hurts will be the youngest quarterback to start a game for the Eagles in 56 years: On Sunday, Hurts will be 22 years and 128 days old. Jack Concannon, who was 21 in 1964, is the only one younger than Hurts.
Hurts finds himself in the middle of a flaming quarterback controversy between him and franchise QB Carson Wentz. The benching of Wentz was once unthinkable, just 18 months ago Wentz signed a 4 year/$128 million dollar extension. But, poor play from Wentz, who currently ranks 28th in QBR and 31st in passer rating has given Hurts this chance.
This isn’t the first QB controversy for Jalen Hurts, who was involved in one at Alabama with Tua Tagovailoa. Hurts lost his starting job to Tua after being benched at halftime of the National Championship game his sophomore year. Then, he lost his job for good going into junior year to Tua, after Hurts was 26-2 the previous two years.
Hurts seems to be very poised to handle the situation, as he navigates with a quiet confidence to his personality. But, the future is very up in air for Hurts, Wentz, and Doug Pederson. Wentz’s contract makes him very difficult to trade this upcoming offseason. Yet, possibly strong play from Jalen Hurts over the next few weeks will bring more clarity and stability to the Eagles’ organization going into 2021.