Should The Los Angeles Chargers Draft Oklahoma Quarterback Jalen Hurts?

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Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs for a 30-yard touchdown on 4th down and 3 to give Oklahoma a 7-0 lead in the first quarter; Oklahoma defeated UCLA 48-14, Sept 14, 2019, Pasadena, CA. Photo Credit: Steve Cheng | Under Creative Commons License
Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs for a 30-yard touchdown on 4th down and 3 to give Oklahoma a 7-0 lead in the first quarter; Oklahoma defeated UCLA 48-14, Sept 14, 2019, Pasadena, CA. Photo Credit: Steve Cheng | Under Creative Commons License

The Los Angeles Chargers have seven picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Should they forgo taking a QB at six, should one of those remaining picks be used on Oklahoma’s quarterback Jalen Hurts?

Should The Los Angeles Chargers Draft Oklahoma Quarterback Jalen Hurts?

The Chargers have some pressing needs including quarterback, left tackle and linebacker.

So with Tyrod Taylor seemingly the starter for the 2020 season, is quarterback a pressing need? Yes. But is it a first-round sixth pick need?

The Need

It is a foregone conclusion that Taylor is the quarterback for the 2020 season. It is also the common thought that he is a bridge quarterback, not the face of the future but good enough for now. That means whoever gets drafted at quarterback will be sitting behind Taylor for at least a year.

Is that worth a first-round pick? The quarterback class consists of the fabulous three: LSU Joe Burrow, likely to go to Cincinnati Bengals; Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, on Miami Dolphins radar; and Oregon’s Justin Herbert; followed closely by Utah’s Jordan Love.

But with the need not immediate, can they wait for the runner up of the 2019 Heisman Award?

Especially when there is a pressing need at left tackle and linebacker?

Oklahoma Quarterback Jalen Hurts

The Stats

  • 2019 stats: 69.7% completion percentage, 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 11.3 passing yards per attempt; 233 carries, 1,298 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns
  • According to Pro Football Focus, ranked ninth among college quarterbacks in completion percentage
  • Ranked 12th in passer rating while pressured
  • NFL Combine: 4.59 – 40-yard dash, 35″ vertical, 10’5″ broad jump
  • Finished second in Heisman Trophy Voting

The Strengths

  • Accuracy
  • Protects the ball well
  • Athletic – dual-threat quarterback can get yards with arm or legs
  • First in, last out of the film room, gym, and off the field

Weaknesses

  • Can sometimes be indecisive in the pocket
  •  Is accurate but does not have a cannon of an arm
  •  Really slow release time…average 3.08 according to Pro Football Focus.  In comparison, Taylor’s release time 2.85; Philip Rivers release time 2.63

Should The Los Angeles Chargers Draft Hurts?

The Pros:

  1.  Hurts has all the intangibles you want for the face of the franchise.
  2.  The Chargers are planning on sitting any drafted quarterback for one season, why waste a first-round pick on someone who is going to sit a year?
  3.  Hurts is a developmental candidate…that means sitting at least one year, the Chargers plan.
  4.  He only got better at Oklahoma proving he can work in changing systems

Should The Los Angeles Chargers Draft Hurts?

The Cons:

  1.  They have lost their franchise quarterback of 15 years. Apparently, Taylor is not the man. Picking a quarterback in the first round would signal they have their franchise quarterback.
  2.  Hurts is a “developmental project” whereas any quarterback picked in the first round will sit a year and learn…but should be past the “developmental” stage.
  3.  Taylor hasn’t played a full season since 2017. What if the 2020 draft choice needs to relieve Taylor?

Conclusion

If the Chargers are serious about making a playoff run they need to draft for positions of need now.  Quarterback isn’t a position of need right now but left tackle certainly is. Linebacker is also a position of need.

The Chargers attacked free agency as if they are looking towards the playoffs this season. Hurts is definitely a candidate for the quarterback of the future, and it would allow Los Angeles to select a day one starter with the sixth overall pick.

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs for a 30-yard touchdown on 4th down and 3 to give Oklahoma a 7-0 lead in the first quarter; Oklahoma defeated UCLA 48-14, Sept 14, 2019, Pasadena, CA. Photo Credit: Steve Cheng | Under Creative Commons License

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs for a 30-yard touchdown on 4th down and 3 to give Oklahoma a 7-0 lead in the first quarter; Oklahoma defeated UCLA 48-14, Sept 14, 2019, Pasadena, CA. Photo Credit: Steve Cheng | Under Creative Commons License