The NFL reminds us every so often that imitation is the best form of flattery. Year after year, teams take what succeeds and add their touch to it.
Looking toward the 2020 NFL Draft, general managers around the league will be trying to recreate the success which Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens enjoy. Which QB in the 2020 NFL Draft possesses the same traits that Jackson does?
Despite the success he achieved in Tuscaloosa, Hurts didn’t record the passing and rushing numbers at Alabama as he has in Norman. In his three seasons playing for Nick Saban, he threw for a combined 5,626 yards while throwing 48 TD.
SCARY NUMBERS DURING 2017 SPRING TESTING
Like those who came before him, Hurts was excellent running the ball in leading the Tide’s offense, running for 1,976 yards and 23 TD in his three seasons at Alabama. His speed and strength became legend among teammates during the Tide’s 2017 spring testing.
Hurts ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. In comparison, the fastest time for a quarterback at the 2017 NFL scouting combine was 4.54.
Hurts also had a 315-pound power clean, bench-pressed 355 pounds, squatted 455 pounds and recorded a 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump, a good number in a drill that tests lower body explosiveness.
This season at Oklahoma, Hurts set team regular season records for passing efficiency (200.3), completion percentage (71.8), and yards per pass attempt (11.8). Not bad for someone replacing consecutive Heisman Trophy Winners and first overall selections in the two previous NFL drafts (Baker Mayfield 2018 and Kyler Murray in 2019). Overall, he threw for 3,851 yards & 32 touchdowns while running for 1,298 yards & 20 TD. He ran and threw for a TD in 10 games this season, becoming the ninth different QB to accomplish that feat (Lamar Jackson did so at Louisville in 2017).
|Most Times Running & Throwing For TD|
|Same Game, College Football History|
While Lamar Jackson sets the NFL on fire with his run/pass numbers, he is setting a precedent for what other teams will now look to repeat.
In 2019, Jackson became the first QB in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards and pass for over 3,000 yards in a single-season.
From a team standpoint, the Ravens were separated by just 71 yards in rushing and passing. They finished as the first team in NFL history to run and pass for 3,000 yards in a single-season. They also set the NFL single-season team record for rushing yards (3,296), breaking the mark held by the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165). It is incredible that in the history of the NFL, no other team featured such balance in running and passing the football. The only other team in NFL history to reach 2,800 yards in each category was the 1978 New England Patriots.
|2800 Team Rushing & Passing Yards|
|Single-Season, NFL History|
|2019 Baltimore Ravens||14-2||3,225||37||3,296||21|
|1978 New England Patriots||11-5||2,800||15||3,165||30|
While Jackson and the Ravens were making NFL history, Jalen Hurts was making his own at Oklahoma. Hurts joined Johnny Manziel & Lamar Jackson as the only other players in college football to run for 1,200 yards and pass for 3,600 in a single-season. Hurts surpassed both Manziel & Jackson in passing yards, becoming the only player to throw for 3,800 yards & run for 1,200.
|3,600 Passing Yards, 1,200 Rushing Yards|
|QB Single-Season, College Football History||Passing||Rushing|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||3,706||26||1,410||21|
For his career, Hurts became the fifth player in college football history to run for 3,000 yards and throw for 9,000. Right below him on that list is Lamar Jackson.
|3,000 Rushing Yards, 9,000 Passing Yards|
I will be very interested to see what teams will take advantage of what unique gifts Jalen Hurts brings to the NFL. I predict his draft stock will skyrocket during the NFL Combine.