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Could Jalen Hurts be the next Kordell Stewart?

The Pittsburgh Steelers will need to draft a quarterback at some point over the next two years.  The team is currently stacked with pocket passers with limited athleticism.Do the Steelers have the worst quarterback situation in the AFC North?

The league seems to be trending in a completely different direction with the likes of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.  Enter Jalen Hurts, an athletic dual threat quarterback who will be available in the early to mid-rounds of the upcoming draft.  Hurts has his flaws, but he could be a prospect worth stashing until Ben Roethlisberger is ready to call it quits on his career.  Let’s take a closer look at the University of Oklahoma standout:

Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma

 

Stats:

6’1” 218lbs

2016:

Passing: 2780 yards  23 tds  9 ints

Rushing: 954 yards  13 tds

2017:

Passing:  2081 yards  17 tds  1 int

Rushing:  855 yards  8 tds

2018:

Passing:  765 yards  8 tds  2 ints

Rushing:  167 yards  2 tds

2019:

Passing:  3851 yards  32 tds  8 ints

Rushing:  1298 yards  20 tds

The first thing that jumps out at you is this is a real deal dual threat quarterback.  The problem being that Jalen Hurts might be a better runner than he is a passer at this point.   Scouts point to his lack of accuracy and anticipation as major obstacles for him to be an elite quarterback at the next level.  The stigma of being replaced by then freshman Tua Tagovailoa in the 2017 National Championship game also sticks with Hurts.

Once he transferred to the University of Oklahoma things changed dramatically for Hurts.  Playing under the tutelage of offensive guru Lincoln Riley, Hurts had a breakout season in 2019.  Accounting fora total of over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns made him one of the best quarterbacks in the country.  He led Oklahoma to the college football playoffs before losing to the eventual National Champions LSU in the opening round.

Projections have Hurts being drafted anywhere from the second, to the fourth round in the upcoming NFL draft.  The Draft Network have him as their sixth best quarterback, 66th overall. https://thedraftnetwork.com/prospect-rankings

If the Steelers found him still on the board in the third round, Jalen Hurts would be a tough name to pass on.  Pittsburgh could initially use him as a Taysom Hill type, while grooming a future starter.  The New Orleans Saints proved the value of having a super athletic quarterback who can make plays as a runner.  Hill was used in a variety of ways on offense, and became a big play machine.

The Slash Role:

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not unfamiliar with this, having done tha exact same thing with Kordell Stewart.  Stewart basically invented the “slash” role back in the mid to late 90s.  Hurts could do the same type of things as a threat as a receiver or running back, while the team decides if he can actually become a full time quarterback.

It would be a perfect situation for the Steelers.  Adding an exciting weapon on offense, and possibly filing the future quarterback issue all in one pick.  At the very worst, Hurts could provide some much needed spark to a very bland offense.  With no cap room, and no first round pick Kevin Colbert will have to think outside the box this off-season.  Drafting Jalen Hurts would be just the type of move which could pay big dividends both in the short, and long terms for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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