No one was certain where former Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts would land in the 2020 NFL Draft. With his unique skill set, the Heisman Trophy finalist needed the right system and scheme to make the most of his talent. Hurts didn't receive first-round grades like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love did despite having a more complete resume than all of them.
On day two of the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles and general manager Howie Roseman made the call and selected Hurts in the second round at No. 53 overall.
The coronavirus pandemic and fears surrounding the COVID-19 virus have paused NFL rookies getting started with their teams. While the NFL decides how and when to proceed, Hurts waits for word alongside with his newly-drafted Eagles teammates -- WR Jalen Reagor (21st overall), OLB Davion Taylor (103rd), SAF K'Von Wallace (127th), OT Jack Driscoll (145th), WR John Hightower (168th), LB Shaun Bradley (196th), WR Quez Watkins (200th), OT Prince Tega Wanogho (210th) and OLB Casey Toohill (233rd).
One thing Hurts can control is his jersey number. While he switched to No. 1 at Oklahoma because CeeDee Lamb wore No. 2, Hurts announced on Instagram that he would be going back to the number that he wore at Channelview High School and through three seasons at Alabama.
Jalen Hurts Jersey Number
Hurts likely won't see playing time as Philadelphia's starting quarterback unless Carson Wentz goes down with an injury. Still, that doesn't mean head coach Doug Pederson, who is no stranger to dialing up wild formations and plays, isn't going to get Hurts' talent on the field.
"I'm excited to add him to the team," Wentz said of Hurts (via Pro Football Talk). "I know how important the quarterback position is and the dynamic is for me and other guys in that room."
In the shadow of Hurts' announcement that he'll wear No. 2, you can pre-order his Eagles football jersey as a special event item that will ship with his new number now that his announcement is official. It's already among the highest-selling items on NFLShop.com.
Men's Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Hurts Nike Midnight Green 2020 NFL Draft Pick Player Name & Number T-Shirt
Hurts switched to No. 1 for his lone season with Lincoln Riley's Sooners. That year should be remembered as one of the most dominant seasons by a dual-threat QB in recent memory, but Joe Burrow's record year overshadowed it.
Hurts finished the 2019 season with a 69.7 completion percentage, 3,851 passing yards and 32 touchdown passes, then he tacked on 1,298 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. For good measure, he caught a touchdown pass in a rivalry game against Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma won the Big 12 Championship, advanced to the College Football Playoff, and Hurts was named All-Big 12 First Team and the conference's Newcomer of the Year.
While No. 1 was Hurts' best statistical year, nothing could keep him from the legacy of No. 2.
After winning district MVP honors playing for his father Averion Hurts in Houston, Texas, Hurts was named First-Team All-SEC and SEC Freshman of the Year after his first season of college football. He led Nick Saban's Crimson Tide to back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championship Games before Tua Tagovailoa replaced the 26-2 starter in the 2018 title game, leading the Tide to victory.
The next season, Hurts was praised for remaining at Alabama as the backup QB. He replaced Tagovailoa in the 2018 SEC Championship Game, scoring 14-straight points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning, 15-yard touchdown run with 1:04 to play.
Hurts received a standing ovation at Alabama's graduation.
The NFL is a completely different animal than Jalen Hurts has ever faced, but this man knows two things: hard work and perseverance. You may not think he's the perfect NFL quarterback, but I believe in him and think there's a long career ahead.
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