X

NFL Scout: Eagles' Jalen Hurts Has 'Changed How I Look at Young QBs'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 26, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 20: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field at halftime in the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Jalen Hurts is exceeding almost everybody's expectations this season, and the success of the Philadelphia Eagles star could have an impact well beyond the team.

"Everyone can nitpick on him, but he’s changed how I look at young quarterbacks now," an NFC senior scout told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane. "He throws it well and makes every easy throw. He’s got wheels to get out of trouble and he’s seemingly never flustered.

"Sign me up."

The development of Josh Allen has had a similar effect across the NFL. The Buffalo Bills star had a nondescript college career and struggled mightily as a rookie.

Allen's breakout in 2020 has naturally left other teams wondering if there's a formula to turning a quarterback with all of the raw tools into an MVP candidate.

Regarding Hurts, NFL.com's Bucky Brooks was making the case in the offseason the 2020 second-round pick was already approaching a pivotal point in his NFL career.

"Yet, the jury is still out on whether Hurts can be Philadelphia's long-term answer at the position due to his accuracy issues and inefficiency as a thrower," Brooks wrote. "Skeptics question if he can become a pinpoint passer capable of winning playoff games on the strength of his right arm."

Hurts has made all of those concerns look silly in retrospect.

The 24-year-old has seen his completion percentage rise from 61.3 to 68.3, and he has halved his interception percentage from 2.1 to 1.0. In addition to the improved efficiency, he's averaging 240.7 yards per game and 8.9 adjusted yards per attempt, up noticeably from 2021 (209.6; 7.1).

In 2021, Hurts showed the Eagles were at least justified in pivoting away from Carson Wentz. Philadelphia made the playoffs while the Wentz-led Indianapolis Colts crashed and burned at the end of the regular season to miss the postseason entirely.

This year, the 6'1" signal-caller has Philadelphia at 9-1 and is leaving little doubt as to his suitability as a bona fide franchise quarterback, and that could be very beneficial for younger QBs coming into the league with similar skill sets.