Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts is still on the board heading into the second day of the NFL draft. Hurts is one of the top quarterbacks remaining in the 2020 NFL draft and is projected to be selected in the late second or third round.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler predicts Hurts will be snagged by the Raiders with the No. 80 overall pick in the third round. It would present an interesting quarterback battle with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota already on the Las Vegas roster. Brugler projects Hurts as the third quarterback to be selected on day two just after Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Washington’s Jacob Eason in the third round.
The Steelers Are Among the Best Fits for Hurts
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller is a bit more bullish on Hurts’ outlook. Miller’s latest mock draft has the Steelers selecting Hurts in the second round with the No. 49 pick.
The Steelers would be an interesting landing spot for Hurts given Ben Roethlisberger missed the majority of last season with an injury. Pittsburgh has Mason Rudolph but the young signal-caller has done little to cement himself as the team’s quarterback of the future. The Steelers could use a little more insurance behind Roethlisberger, and it would also give Hurts some time to develop as an NFL quarterback.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Hurts ranked as his No. 6 quarterback in the 2020 draft class. Hurts is the second-best available quarterback left on Kiper’s big board just behind Eason.
The Cowboys Cannot Be Ruled Out in the Hurts Sweepstakes
One surprise team that has been linked to Hurts is the Cowboys. Dallas met with Hurts leading up to the draft and are reportedly looking to select a quarterback in one of the final two days. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that the Cowboys are considering taking a quarterback in the second or third round. This was before the Cowboys unexpectedly used their first-round pick on Hurts’ Oklahoma teammate CeeDee Lamb which means the team is more likely to address their defense in the second round.
The Cowboys have been in ongoing negotiations with Dak Prescott, but he still appears to be their quarterback of the future. Hurts could make some sense for the Cowboys in the third round if he is still on the board. Hurts could be Prescott’s backup and even used later as trade bait once he develops in the NFL.
Hurts Helped His Draft Stock by Transferring to Oklahoma
Hurts helped his case for the NFL by transferring to Oklahoma from Alabama. The quarterback thrived in Lincoln Riley’s offense, a coach who had the previous two No. 1 picks.
Hurts posted career highs in nearly every statistical category last season with the Sooners. The quarterback passed for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 69.7 percent of his passes. Hurts also rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns as well in 2019. Hurts must continue to develop as a passer when he reaches the NFL, but his athleticism will be very intriguing for the right team as NFL offenses continue to prioritize mobility from quarterbacks.