Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma: South Team
Jalen Hurts has had quite the collegiate career. He began as the starting quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, posting an impressive 26-2 record in two years as the starter. Unfortunately he was replaced halfway through the 2018 National Championship game by freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who went on to lead a comback win in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs.
This would ultimately lead to Tua getting the starting job the following year and Hurts serving in a backup roll. His story in Tuscaloosa didn’t quite end there though, as he did get another shot to play when Tua went down in the SEC Championship game, once again against the Bulldogs. Hurts stepped up in his opportunity for a miraculous second half comeback, leading Alabama to two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to get the win.
They would eventually go on to lose to Clemson in the National Championship game, but Hurts proved that he could show up when it counted and he had plenty left to showcase.
After that season ended and it was clear Tua was still Nick Saban’s guy, Hurts transferred to play his senior season at Oklahoma. He put up some great numbers in a Lincoln Riley system that favored his style of play well, passing for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He also added 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground.
Jalen Hurts is a very athletic quarterback that many consider a raw and mold-able player. Not necessarily viewed as an elite level arm, he has shown that he can produce as a duel threat quarterback that we see succeeding in today’s NFL.
Hurts would be a fantastic addition to the Raiders if he was sitting there in the 3rd round. The Raiders are in a situation as they move to Las Vegas where they believe in Derek Carr as their franchise quarterback, but also need a legit No. 2 guy behind him to push him and create competition within that quarterback room.
In a division where Patrick Mahomes looks to be in control for years to come, the Raiders will need a plan B option if Derek Carr can’t regain the level of play he displayed in 2016 that led to a 12-4 record, before he broke his leg and ended his season.
Letting Hurts sit for a year or two as they continue to see what they truly have in Carr would be the ideal situation. Jon Gruden would be able to mold him into the quarterback he truly desires for his system, while also following suit with a lot of the league in having an athletic and mobile quarterback who can hurt you with his feet as well as his arm.