Former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts might not be getting the kind of hype Joe Burrow is getting at the NFL Combine, but it’s possible he should be. In the last few years, OU has turned into a kind of “Quarterback U” thanks to sending its two starters to the NFL via first-round draft picks. In fact, both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray were first overall picks.
Thanks to the shadow cast by Burrow, Hurts isn’t likely to be the first pick in the 2020 NFL draft, but his showing at Thursday’s combine could have shown teams enough for one of them to select him in the first round. Hurts showed off both his speed and his arm and had quite a few analysts saying how impressed they were on social media.
The official college football account for Fox Sports posted the video of Jalen Hurts running down the sideline and added the quarterback was “moving” on Twitter. The account also let it be known he ran a 4.59 40-yard-dash. That qualified Hurts for the best time for any quarterback at the NFL Combine at the time of his running; Fox Sports posted about an hour later that both Cole McDonald of Hawaii and Steven Montez of Colorado were able to beat that time.
The official Twitter account for the Oklahoma Sooners focused more on how well Hurts was throwing the football. The account posted a video ripped from the NFL Network showing the signal-caller throwing the deep ball to various receivers. Some analysts for the network thought he might not get drafted until the 3rd round, but they said it was very likely he wouldn’t make it out of the second round if he continued to have such a great showing at the combine.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) February 28, 2020
Hurts also has the benefit of a senior season that saw him contend for the Heisman Trophy to help make the case that he should go earlier in the draft than the second or third round. After spending his first three seasons of college football with the Alabama Crimson Tide, he transferred to Oklahoma and excelled in the Sooners’ offense.
Hurts completed 69.7 percent of his passes in 2019 for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. While he was certainly solid through the air, he was also able to hurt opponents on the ground, running for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns. Both the yardage and the touchdowns were career highs, as were the 32 touchdowns.