clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Eagles All-22 Film Review: Jalen Hurts deep dive

Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of Philly’s starting quarterback.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Jalen Hurts.

How many times are we all going to mention that name the next few months? I don’t even want to know.

After Howie Roseman’s end of season press conference, Hurts appears to be in line to start for the Eagles in 2022. I will give you my opinion on this briefly at the end, but I wanted this week’s film room to just be about what Jalen Hurts strengths and weaknesses are. Rather than repeat the same statements we are going to read online and hear on the radio thousands of times, I wanted to go deep on Jalen Hurts film from 2021.

This is my scouting report on Hurts, with film clips to back up everything I believe (except certain things that the film doesn’t show). As always, this is purely my opinion but it is an opinion based on watching the all22 of every single Jalen Hurts snap (at least once) that he has had as an Eagle. Lets get to it.

Strengths

+ Top talent as a runner. Almost has the running ability of a running back. Can handle a heavy workload as a runner. Has both speed and power and impacts an offenses run game massively.

+ Very effective scrambler. Has the ability to create outside of structure, either as a runner or passer.

+ His athletic profile can lead to predictable coverages, especially on 3rd and long when defenses have to account for his speed.

+ Accurate outside the numbers, especially in the intermediate zones.

+ Shows good touch on throws and throws a ‘catchable’ ball frequently.

+ Shows poise in the pocket and doesn’t look hurried too often.

+ Good decision maker and rarely puts the ball in precarious situations.

+ Consistently good at diagnosing and reading defenses pre-snap

+ Mentally very strong and does not let mistakes impact his play or confidence

+ Teammates and coaches speak extremely well about him as a leader

+ Has made improvements as a passer from year 1 to 2.

WEAKNESSES

- Rarely see him manipulate defenders with his eye placement.

- Very rarely targets the middle of the field. He only had 31 throws all season in the middle of the field between 10-19 yards, per Sports Info Solutions.

- His skillset should excel in the RPO game but he makes poor reads too often.

- Too slow to process post-snap/eliminate what is not there.

- Sometimes too keen to run and will bail from clean pockets.

- Rarely asked to make full field reads, leads a very ‘QB friendly’ offense which is limited when chasing games.

- Too often just doesn’t see the field or misses open receivers.

- His deep balls lack velocity and he can put too much air under them. Misses too many deep balls. This is often linked to his footwork which can be inconsistent and when his heel clicks it impacts his arm strength in a negative way.

- Fumbles a concern in the pocket. Fumbled 9 times in 15 games.

- Has a tendency to drop his eyes if faced with immediate pressure, especially from unexpected pressure (such as a disguised blitz).

Overall

Hurts clearly had a pretty good year. I had a look at some QB rankings to see where others ranked him as I obviously can’t watch every QB in detail and everyone had him around the 12-18 range. Gregg Rosenthal had him at 15 and I trust his opinion a lot. PFF had him 11th. ESPN had him 16th. Pro Football Network had him 16th. It’s interesting comparing him to Jimmy Garappolo who was always just slightly behind Hurts in the rankings (except for one).

Hurts is a fascinating talent due to his extremely unique blend of athleticism, speed and power at the quarterback position. He clearly progressed as a passer from last year, yet the Eagles are still running a pretty basic passing game and Hurts has some huge weaknesses that he needs to improve on if he wants to reach the next level. In particular, using his eyes more to move secondary defenders and speeding up his process post snap is something he simply must improve. Teams will now have a whole season of film on Hurts and they will know exactly what is strengths and weaknesses are.

Personally, I think Hurts has clearly proven himself to be a ‘starting calibre’ quarterback. You do have to run a specific style of offense with Hurts but you simply cannot evaluate Hurts as a passer without ignoring what he gives you in the running game. He completely alters the Eagles running game and is a huge reason why the Eagles had an elite running game throughout the second half of last season. In the modern game though, is a ‘starting calibre’ QB enough to challenge for the Super Bowl?

The Future

The question of ‘should Hurts be the Eagles starting quarterback in 2022’ is not as simple as it sounds.

Unless you think Jalen Hurts has top 5-8 potential (personally, I do not at this point) then the Eagles should be looking at other quarterbacks to try and find an elite option. Pretty much every single team who doesn’t have an elite quarterback should be looking to improve. This doesn’t mean you cannot win without an elite quarterback but you have to accept that the best teams usually have the best quarterbacks. Steven Ruiz wrote a great piece about this topic recently, but it is clear that the elite quarterbacks in the league right now are just playing the position at a completely different level than a ‘good’ quarterback. Does anyone think an Eagles offense led by Hurts can compete with Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen in a playoff game? I struggle to see it, especially after watching the high level performances at the quarterback position this weekend. The talent on show was extraordinary.

However, this does not mean you should move on from Hurts at all costs. The odds of finding a top quarterback are extremely rare. Maybe you can pursue a Russell Wilson, but who knows if he even wants to come here? Based on what I have read about the quarterbacks coming out in the draft recently, it may be that none of them have the potential to be a top 5-7 quarterback either. If this is the case, you have absolutely no reason to move on from Hurts and there is nothing wrong with him starting next season.

You can believe that the Eagles should attempt to find an elite quarterback option and that Jalen Hurts should be the starter in 2022 if they can’t find an answer. This may be a boring answer and its not an exciting ‘hot take’ but this is where I am at with the Eagles quarterback position.

I expect the Eagles to pursue an elite quarterback but if this fails (as I believe it will), the Eagles should spend the offseason ensuring that Hurts has elite talent surrounding him in order to allow him to reach his potential. As someone who was wrong about Hurts this year and openly accept this (I thought he would be worse - I am never afraid to admit when I am wrong either) I am not going to doubt that he can continue to improve. He obviously has an excellent work ethic and wants to be coached and get better. Whether he will reach the elite stage remains extremely doubtful, but there is more than one way to win in the NFL (see: Jimmy G and the 49ers) and overall, I do believe Hurts made some good progress this year and is an very interesting talent. Let’s leave it there for today...

As always, I appreciate the comments and feedback is always welcome