It’s time to pay Jalen Hurts a compliment that may not come across the same way to everyone who reads it.
The young Eagles quarterback reminded me of a mobile, athletic version of Nick Foles during Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers.
And really, that comparison has been floating in my head for a while as we all try to figure out how good this quarterback can be.
Hurts’ ceiling is high. It’s star-level high. That’s what kind of player can be if developed properly and all things fall into place. But what about Hurts’ floor? What if he doesn’t become a star quarterback? What is realistic to expect here?
Through nine starts, there are qualities that bring me back to a young, mobile version of what Foles was in an Eagles uniform. Hurts is tough. He’s a leader. He has an “it” factor that can’t be quantified. His teammates talked about his calm in the huddle the way former Eagles talked about Foles’ demeanor on the field.
Then, of course, there’s the play, flashes of excellence and periods of inconsistency.
At times, Hurts’ accuracy is spot on. He’ll get on a heater and throw beautiful, catchable passes. Then that accuracy will disappear, leading to off-target throws for large chunks of quarters or halves. When his feet are set and he’s on time, Hurts is capable of lofting up high, rainbow-like deep balls that give his receivers time to track the ball for long gains. He’s also prone to miss short or long, putting the ball in harm’s way.
Remind you of anyone?
Sometimes I think we forget what learning to win in the NFL is all about with young quarterbacks. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by watching Patrick Mahomes do his thing. Maybe the rise of Justin Herbert has skewed our reality of what ups and downs for young quarterbacks look like. Hurts struggled on Sunday vs. a top defense. He was shut down for long periods of the game. But his legs and toughness helped win a huge road game. It was a building block moment for a quarterback that should be gaining our trust that can’t be gleaned from a stat sheet.