People like getting mad at quarterback rankings, and yet, we all read them anyway. The following is a roundup of where some national folks have Jalen Hurts rated headed in 2022 training camp.
Without fail, this annual piece by Sando is one of my favorites of the year. According to Sando, “The results reflect voting from 50 NFL coaches and executives, including six general managers, eight head coaches, 10 evaluators, 12 coordinators, six quarterback coaches and seven execs whose specialties include analytics, game management and the salary cap. The remaining ballot was put together by four members of one team’s personnel department.”
Here’s what they said about Hurts:
Hurts jumped 10 spots from last season, the largest year-over-year gain (Burrow climbed nine spots). Some of that was because Hurts debuted so low as a player with minimal experience and a modest pedigree, but voters also admire Hurts for his approach to the game despite seeing limitations that most feel will prevent Hurts from climbing into Tier 2.
“He is a poor man’s Baltimore guy (Jackson) because he can’t run that fast, but he’s so serious about his job, and he’s physically and mentally tough,” an offensive coach said. “He will play very, very consistent. He just won’t be a good enough passer over time to get out of the 3s.”
A quandary awaits Philadelphia if Hurts remains the starter.
“Their staff did a masterful job adjusting the offense for Hurts,” a defensive coach said. “It is just very rare that you are going to have sustainable success running a college-style offense with a limited passer. You are on a path where you are either going to recreate Baltimore’s offense or Hurts is going to prove to you that he can play in a pro-style offense or you are going to get a new quarterback.”
Two head coaches did think Hurts could ascend into Tier 2.
“Jalen is a 3 with an arrow to maybe a 2,” one of the head coaches said. “I love the guy. We couldn’t take him as high as Philly took him, him but if he would have fallen, we were definitely interested. I like that he wants to be really good, and I thought he was playing some pretty good football last year.”
The prevailing thought on Hurts is that he’s doing an excellent job running an offense that the Eagles’ coaching staff has effectively tailored to his strengths, and that he’ll need to grow considerably as a passer for Philly to contend.
“If the guy can’t stand there and win on third down with his arm, you don’t have a chance,” an offensive coordinator said.
#JimmySays: The above commentary mirrors the general perception of Hurts locally, in that he’s an easy player to root for because of his desire to be great, but realistically doesn’t have a very high ceiling due to his passing limitations.
25th (Chris Simms, PFT)
Simms spoke for 18 minutes about Hurts. I’m not transcribing this, so listen here if you’re interested.
#JimmySays: I didn’t listen to it either, because I just didn’t feel like it 🤷♂️. Simms infamously did not include Hurts in his top 40 quarterbacks a year ago, while guys like Case Keenum, Kellen Mond, Drew Lock, Taysom Hill, and Sam Darnold made his list. 25th is still too low. Hurts has his faults, but he’s not a bottom quarter of the league starter.
Hurts saving his worst start of the season for the playoffs knocks him down a few spots. He held the ball, didn’t see the field and didn’t shoot straight against the Bucs. That doesn’t erase the gains that came in his other 15 starts, where his pocket passing took a huge step forward. His running ability gives him a high baseline, and he’s a solid starting quarterback at worst, which is quite a find for a highly criticized second-round pick.
#JimmySays: Gregg ranked quarterbacks back in February, but his analysis of Hurts still applies. The Eagles’ passing offense didn’t look functional in the playoff game against Tampa, and Hurts will have to prove that what Tampa’s defense did to him in that game is not a blueprint for how to shut him down.
This is a serious put up or shut up year. Hurts is a little too unfairly criticized, which comes with the territory playing in Philly — but 3,100 passing yards will not cut it when you have Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown. We’ll need to see a leap from Hurts this season or the team is likely going to start looking for a new passer moving forward. I have some faith, but it’s waning.
#JimmySays: “Hurts is a little too unfairly criticized, which comes with the territory playing in Philly” is something to say, I guess.
There’s no analysis given here, but here are the quarterbacks ranked 21-30:
21) Jameis Winston
22) Tua Tagovailoa
23) Teddy Bridgewater
24) Justin Fields
25) Jalen Hurts
26) Zach Wilson
27) Carson Wentz
28) Jared Goff
29) Trey Lance
30) Marcus Mariota
#JimmySays: Higher up the list they have Dak Prescott rated ahead of Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson. 😬
I guess by comparison, I’m more of a Hurts homer than a Hurts hater.
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