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Ask Farrell: Is Jalen Hurts the next Lamar Jackson?

Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts (AP)

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During Oklahoma’s thrashing of Texas Tech on Saturday, FOX announcer Gus Johnson said Jalen Hurts reminded him of a specific quarterback.

Johnson’s comparison of Hurts to Lamar Jackson was an interesting one and it could be intriguing to see if that narrative sticks, especially if the Sooners’ offense continues to move along at such a brisk pace.

Hurts is completing more than 77 percent of his passes so far this season for 1,295 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception. He also leads Oklahoma in rushing with 443 yards and five scores as he’s averaging 9.4 yards per carry.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, arguably the best offensive mind in college football, took transfer quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, developed them into Heisman Trophy winners and back-to-back No. 1 picks in the NFL Draft.

Hurts is right in the thick of the Heisman race as Oklahoma is averaging 55.5 points and 375 passing yards per outing. The Sooners have blown out Houston, South Dakota, UCLA and Texas Tech to start the season and there’s no end in sight.

Leading up to the NFL Draft, there were numerous discussions about Jackson’s passing ability and whether his game that shined at Louisville would translate to the pros. He was the last pick in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens, won the starting job and he’s off to a fantastic start.

Hurts might not be nearly as freakishly athletic as Jackson at the same stage, but he might be a better passer.



We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he buys the Hurts/Jackson comparison offered up by Johnson and whether Hurts could make big leaps up draft boards if he continues playing so well even if it’s not to No. 1 overall like Mayfield and Murray.

“Let’s be clear, if Hurts continues to play like this, he will be considered as a potential first round pick. Mobility is coveted in the NFL these days and he’s improved greatly as a passer. And playing just one year under Riley will help as Riley is quickly gaining a reputation similar to David Cutcliffe and others as a great quarterback guru.

"But I don’t see him being similar to Jackson, at least not athletically. Jackson can do things with his legs and feet that Hurts can’t dream of and he’s much more dynamic on the field. Hurts can throw the ball a bit better and with more consistency based on what we have seen this year, but he’s still a bit erratic there and could be pressed by better teams.

"I’ve gone on record saying I don’t think Jackson will be a successful quarterback in the NFL long term and I don’t think Hurts will either, but the NFL will disagree.”