Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush has covered the Chicago Bears since the 1980s, and he recently wrote about the quarterbacks he thinks the Bears would benefit from taking in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. While noting it seems “unlikely” Chicago will select a quarterback with one of their two second-round picks, Arkush said if the Bears do chose to add a QB early, “it would be a clear indication they are more concerned about Mitch Trubisky’s future than they’re saying.”
Arkush went on to highlight one quarterback specifically he thinks the Bears could take in the second round: Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts. Arkush thinks Hurts would be a great fit in Chicago playing in Matt Nagy’s system. Would he? And, more importantly, are Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy and company going to spend one of their valuable second-round picks on a quarterback after trading a fourth round pick to Jacksonville for Nick Foles a few weeks ago? Probably not, but with Ryan Pace, there’s always a chance for the unexpected.
Jalen Hurts’ Stats: Would Oklahoma QB Be Worth the Risk?
In his assessment of Hurts, Arkush compared him to a lesser-gifted version of reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
“Jalen Hurts is a poor man’s Lamar Jackson, not quite the runner, but a better thrower who compiled a 38-4 record in college. Hurts’ ability to hand off or pull the ball and either run or throw in an RPO scheme could be lethal if he becomes a better passer on intermediate and deep throws and learns how to read coverages better. The longer he lasts in Round 2 or in to Round 3, it will become impossible for some team not to pull the trigger on a boom-or-bust pick.”
Hurts started 14 games for the Sooners in 2019 after spending his first three years with the Alabama Crimson Tide. He started 56 games in college, and he threw for 9,477 yards in his four seasons, tossing 80 touchdowns to 20 interceptions, with a 65.1 percent completion percentage.
Hurts was replaced by current top prospect Tua Tagovailoa in 2018, which had more to do with Tagovailoa slightly outperforming him than anything else. Hurts ended up filling in for Tagovailoa in the 2018 SEC Championship, and was lights out, going 7-9 for 82 yards, with one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. He brought the team back to beat Jake Fromm and Georgia in that game, scoring 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Hurts then transferred to Oklahoma the following year, where he was a Heisman Trophy finalist. As a senior at Oklahoma, Hurts threw for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also had a whopping 20 rushing touchdowns with the Sooners last year.
His ability to make plays happen with his legs coupled with his poise and experience make him an intriguing prospect for a system like Nagy’s. Hurts has experience in numerous offenses, and he would be great in an offense that features RPOs, as Nagy’s does. While he has had some issues with check-downs in the past, Hurts has also displayed an ability to improve consistently as a passer.
Hurts performed well at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine this year, notching the fastest time in the 40-yard dash of any quarterback there.
He has also has had six different offensive masterminds directly coaching him in his four years, so some continuity couldn’t hurt.
Is Jalen Hurts Worth a Second-Round Pick?
The Bears have yet to fully address several of their areas of need, primary of which is the offensive line. The team is very likely to draft a tackle or guard with their first selection (the 43rd overall pick), but if Hurts is still sitting there at 50, when Chicago’s second pick is cued, don’t be surprised if Pace takes a swing on Hurts.
While it remains much more likely Chicago will select a quarterback in later rounds — if they do so at all — Hurts remains an intriguing possibility.