The Chicago Bears are set to embark on what might be the most important draft weekend of GM Ryan Pace’s tenure. After delivering a dud in 2019, they must make changes at important positions to get back on the winning track. After navigating the early waves of free agency, the team has moved into NFL Draft mode. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more promising draft-eligible prospects to see if there’s a fit for the Bears in 2020.
Potential Target, Position, School
- Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Oklahoma
- Measurements: 6-1, 222 pounds, 31 3/4-inch arms, 9 3/4-inch hands
Performance, Prospect Rankings, and Accomplishments
- 2019 stats: 14 games, 237/340 (69.7%), 3,851 yards, 32 TD, 8 INT; 233 carries, 1,298 yards, 20 TD; 2 receptions, 25 yards, 1 TD
- Career stats: 56 games, 682/1,047 (65.1%), 9,477 yards, 80 TD, 20 INT; 614 carries, 3,274 yards, 43 TD; 5 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD
- Accomplishments: Heisman Trophy runner-up (2019), Big-12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year (2019), First-team All-Big 12 (2019), First-team All-SEC (2016), SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2016), SEC Freshman of the Year (2016)
- Position ranking: 7th (ESPN), 4th (Pro Football Focus), 6th (CBS Sports), 7th (Walter Football)
One Thing the NFL.com Draft Profile Says…
“He’ll struggle to beat NFL defenses from the pocket, but his ability to grind out yards on the ground and make off-schedule plays should make him a solid backup with upward mobility.”
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller views Hurts as a dream fit for Matt Nagy’s offense:
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 24, 2020
And this isn’t the first time Miller has made the connection between the two, as he has been ahead of the curve in linking the Bears as a possible landing spot for Hurts:
Where’s the Fit?
Even with NFL Draft insiders warning against drafting a quarterback in the second round, Hurts figures to be the most intriguing prospect of the bunch who will be available when the Bears go on the clock.
Few draft-eligible prospects are as decorated as Hurts. Seriously, re-read the “Accomplishments” section above. And that Hurts starred at two blue-blood powerhouse schools is not lost on me, either. To play well in pressure-cooker environments might bode well for Hurts as he enters what is expected to be a rigorous battle for him from the bottom of an NFL team’s quarterbacking depth chart.
Hurts checks a bunch of boxes. His leadership is unquestionable. His play-making ability is equal parts fun and impressive. Mobility inside the pocket and in open space is a plus. Hurts, who has long been one of our favorite college quarterbacks, is far from a perfect prospect. But he reminds me of that old adage about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts — especially if he lands in the right system.