Jalen Hurts is changing the quarterback evaluation process | Locked On Eagles

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Jalen Hurts’ performance in 2022 has opened the eyes of the NFL, and is changing how teams are evaluating arguably the most important position in sports.

Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback Jalen Hurts shocked the football world in 2022 when he took a historic, MVP-level jump from Year Two to Year Three.  From his college days at Alabama and Oklahoma, to his first two seasons in the NFL, everyone knew Hurts was a high-floor player with elite scrambling, work ethic, and leadership skills.

However, up until this past season, almost everyone (including the Eagles) questioned whether or not he could ever become a top-tier passing QB.  Then he broke the Eagles single season touchdown record, finished the 2022 season with the highest passer rating inside the pocket and on throws 25+ yards in the air, finished second in MVP voting, and went toe to toe with Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes in a Super Bowl shootout.

It opened the eyes of the entire NFL and looking at the comments of front office members and coaches at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, it changed how teams will evaluate the most important position in sports.

For about a decade now, the NFL has been moving on from prioritizing the traditional pocket passing, risk-averse, game-managing type of quarterback, to the mobile, improvising, aggressive signal-callers with elite arm strength. Hurts didn’t start that philosophical change, but the combination of that style of play, the trajectory of his career, and his other unique strengths clearly has had an impact on teams in need of drafting a QB.

Hurts becoming an elite player as both a passer and runner showed the league another example of the unguardable, ultimate weapon these types of prospects can become. It showed another reason to take the risk on a player that has off the charts physical traits, even if they need development in other areas, coming out of college as unfinished products.

Hurts taking four full college seasons, and two seasons in the NFL to become an elite passing QB also showed teams that the timeline of these players is often unpredictable. Although the Year 2 leap became a trend, and the ideal development length to maximize rookie contracts, you then had the likes of Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen and Hurts take longer to break out.

NFL Network draft analyst and former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah said himself many front offices believe taking a QB is now like a lottery. Unpredictable so take the player with the biggest payout.  Hurts doesn’t have the generational arm strength of Allen or even Florida QB prospect Anthony Richardson, but he has a blend of mobility, strength, football IQ, and work ethic that allowed him to still become a star without that ability.

He is a unique blend which is something else teams are learning. Anything can work.  “It isn’t one size fits all,” Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio said about the 2022 QB class. “When you look at what Philly did, Nick and Shane built a team around what Jalen does well. What do you value and what is most important, then build your team accordingly.”

The NFL has become much more open minded at QB than it once was. The breakout of Jalen Hurts has helped continue that trend and change the evaluation process.


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