NFL Insider Blames Criticism Over Jalen Hurts on ‘Dinosaur Thinking’

Jalen Hurts

Getty Jalen Hurts playing for Oklahoma.

The Eagles and Ravens may have been the only two teams equipped to draft Jalen Hurts. At least that is what one well-known football reporter’s opinion.

Philadelphia took Hurts in the second round (53rd overall) in April and the pick was met with immediate criticism. Both fans and media complained over wasting such a high pick on a backup (maybe even third-string) quarterback. Plus, Hurts’ presence on the depth chart would put undue pressure on starter Carson Wentz.

Hold up, says NBC Sports’ Peter King. The famed writer revealed he was “amazed at the anti-Hurts sentiment” in his “Football Morning in America” column. He called it “dinosaur thinking” and pointed out that head coach Doug Pederson was perfectly suited to handle Wentz’s mental state. He also declared the backup quarterback position is a “top-10-important player” on some teams.

King ranked the Eagles considerably low in his inaugural power rankings at No. 15, though. Here is what he wrote about the decision to draft Hurts.

I’m amazed at the anti-Hurts sentiment out there. Dinosaur thinking, I believe. Baltimore loved Jalen Hurts, for instance. Not saying the Ravens would have taken him, particularly with J.K. Dobbins left on the board, but Baltimore wouldn’t have been afraid to insert him in the offense six or eight plays a game to scare the crap out of the defense. Same with Doug Pederson, who can handle the mental state of Wentz and be sure he knows that all Hurts can do is make Wentz better. With some teams, the backup quarterback is a top-10-important player on the team. When the franchise quarterback has missed 13 games due to injury in the last three years, that makes the backup QB much more important.

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Hurts Named Big 12 Athlete of the Year

Hurts earned a huge accolade earlier this week when the Big 12 Conference named him Male Athlete of the Year for the 2019-20 school year. The former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy last season after throwing for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns. Hurts also rushed for 1,298 yards and 20 scores for the Sooners.

“He learned about our culture, the way we do things, our players individually,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said of Hurts’ ability to make an impact on the team quickly, via the Eagles’ official website. “He picked his moments to step in and speak, to let them know he wasn’t just coming in here to better himself, but he wanted to come in here and win a championship and be a part of a successful team at Oklahoma.”

Riley has maintained that Hurts is a quarterback first and not a gadget-play specialist, in the mold of the Saints’ Taysom Hill. His college coach lauded Hurts’ passing efficiency in a recent interview on NFL Network. Hurts guided the Sooners to a 12-2 overall record in 2019, plus their fifth-straight Big 12 title and third appearance in the College Football Playoff.

“I think a little bit of those opinions come from people that haven’t really watched the tapes,” Riley said. “When you see his tapes, you see one of the most efficient passing seasons in the history of college football this year.”

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