Loading scores...
QB KlassRoom

Quantifying Quarterbacks: Jalen Hurts

by Derrik Klassen
Updated On: February 19, 2020, 4:48 pm ET

Quantifying Quarterbacks is an NFL Draft focused quarterback charting project geared toward providing as much information about as much of a quarterback's recent career as possible. Over 20 data points are recorded for any given pass attempt, ranging from down-and-distance, personnel grouping, play-action, depth of target, accuracy, and much more. Quantifying Quarterbacks charts the entirety of a quarterback's final college season, as well as a smaller sample (four games) from their previous season. All of this charting is done manually by me during and after the college football season. For a more in-depth look at what exactly Quantifying Quarterbacks is, here is a link to last year's final product: 2019 Quantifying Quarterbacks


Jalen Hurts Charting Profile
Distance (Usage Rate) Left Outside Left Middle Right Middle Right Outside Total
20+ (18.82%) 11/25 (1 TD) 9/16 (3 TD, 1 INT) 7/18 (2 TD, 1 INT) 11/20 (5 TD, 1 INT) 38/79 (11 TD, 3 INT)
16-20 (7.53%) 5/7 (1 TD) 5/7 (2 TD, 1 INT) 9/11 5/7 (3 TD, 1 INT) 24/32 (6 TD, 2 INT)
11-15 (17.65%) 12/19 (1 INT) 14/17 (2 TD) 24/27 (1 INT) 8/12 58/75 (2 TD, 2 INT)
6-10 (19.06%) 10/14 (2 TD) 19/24 (3 TD, 1 INT) 26/30 (6 TD) 4/13 59/81 (11 TD, 1 INT)
1-5 (16.00%) 16/19 (1 TD) 11/13 13/18 (2 TD) 16/18 (2 TD) 56/68 (5 TD)
0 (19.06%) 15/15 19/23 (1 TD) 26/32 (1 TD, 1 INT) 11/11 71/81 (2 TD, 1 INT)
Total (425 plays) 69/99 (5 TD, 1 INT) 77/100 (11 TD, 3 INT) 105/136 (11 TD, 3 INT) 55/81 (10 TD, 2 INT) 306/416 (37 TD, 9 INT)

Games Charted: Ole Miss (2017), Texas A&M (2017), LSU (2017), Clemson (2017), entire 2019 season

CHARTING EXTRAS

Blatant Drops: 10

Forced Adjustments: 25

Contested Drops: 38

Passes Defended: 30

Explosive Plays: 68 (16% of plays)

Throwaways: 9

First, consider that the 2017 Alabama offense featured first-round pick Calin Ridley while other such as Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Robert Foster, and Irv Smith Jr. all filled out the rest of the pass-catching corps — and that all of it was orchestrated by now-Buffalo Bills OC Brian Daboll. Next, consider that the 2019 Oklahoma offense was crafted by spread offense savant Lincoln Riley and featured two stud wide receivers in future first-round pick CeeDee Lamb and Charleston Rambo

Jalen Hurts’ fantastic 16.00% explosive play rate should come as no shock with all of that information in mind. Of course, there is still a burden of execution that falls onto Hurts’ shoulders and he carried that burden well, but any QB’s explosive rate in offenses like this should come with a minor asterisk. The same goes for Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, who preceded Hurts at Oklahoma. 

Additionally, Hurts suffered from hardly any drops, yet posted a relatively high 5.97% of catches requiring adjustments. That is not an alarmingly bad rate, but it is worse than average and comes off as a bit unsettling given how much his receivers were helping him out by not dropping any passes. However, Hurts’ overall accuracy (which we are about to get to) was good enough that the mediocre adjustment rate isn’t enough to call him inaccurate on the whole. Sometimes he is just more of an area thrower than a precision thrower. 

ACCURACY AND ENVIRONMENT

Adjusted Accuracy: 74.52%

Outside the Pocket Percentage: 23.29%

Adjusted Accuracy Outside the Pocket: 57.47%

Under Pressure Percentage: 27.18%

Adjusted Accuracy Under Pressure: 55.05%

Most Common Personnel Package: 10 personnel (42.12%)

Shotgun Percentage: 98.35%

Empty Formations Frequency: 6.82%

Play-Action Percentage: 41.65%

Play-Action Adjusted Accuracy: 73.16%

Designed Rollout Frequency: 8.00%

Hurts’ adjusted accuracy is considerably better than many might assume it would be. He is not quite in the elite tier of Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow, but he is firmly in that next tier of dangerously accurate passers. Now, Hurts having such a high accuracy score runs contrary to the common knock against him that he is not a precise thrower. In fact, some seem to believe accuracy and precise ball placement is one of Hurts’ worst traits. The reality lies somewhere in the middle. 


Personally, I never found Hurts to be as impressive with his ball placement as his overall adjusted accuracy score suggests. Too many of Hurts’ throws call for an adjustment or work against a receivers’ momentum, which can be an issue once windows become tighter in the NFL. That being said, it’s quite rare for Hurts to just completely whiff on a throw. Hurts almost always gets the ball in the general vicinity of his targets and at least gives them a chance, even if not the best possible chance. While the lack of elite precision lowers Hurts’ ceiling some, the fact that he so consistently gives plays a chance raises his floor. 


Where legitimate concern arises with Hurts is his accuracy outside of the pocket. Considering more than 20% of Hurts’ attempts were outside the pocket, be that by design or his tendency to bail the pocket, one would hope that Hurts is making good on those attempts. That is not the case, though, and I suspect that has to do with how many of Hurts’ attempts outside the pocket are a result of him trying to pick up the pieces of a broken play, be that brokenness his fault or someone else’s. I believe Hurts is accurate enough on the move, but when many of his outside the pocket opportunities are a result of him having wasted time staring something down in the pocket, it’s not difficult to make that connection as a possible reason for his accuracy score being low in this area. 


The last major standout in this area is Hurts’ play-action percentage. At both Alabama and Oklahoma, Hurts’ offenses were rife with traditional play-action as well as RPOs (run-pass options), which I currently chart under play-action. The high play-action rate is not any sort of disqualifier for me, but it does lend to a somewhat unrealistic style of offense compared to what Hurts will likely have in the league. Even the heaviest play-action teams in the NFL rarely crest the 30% mark. Considering I worry about Hurts’ vision and trigger on traditional drop back concepts, a decreased rate of play-action in the NFL will almost certainly hurt him. 

 

PASS RUSH

Avg. Number of Pass Rushers: 4.35

Three or Fewer Pass Rushers Frequency: 12.47%

Four Pass Rushers Frequency: 47.76%

Five Pass Rushers Frequency: 32.71%

Six or More Pass Rushers Frequency: 7.06%

Hurts’ pass-rush numbers look very similar to Tua Tagovailoa’s. Their five pass rushers and six-plus pass rusher rates are within 1% of each other, and Hurts’ average 4.35 pass rushers faced is the closest to Tagovailoa’s class-high 4.41 average pass rushers faced. Like with Tagovailoa, the sky high five pass rusher rate likely has to do with the high rate of RPOs in their respective offenses since RPOs can sort of muddy which players are actually rushing the passer. 

Where the two differ, however, is in facing three-man rushes. Hurts’ three-man rush rate was more than 5% higher than Tagovailoa’s. Given about 80% of Hurts’ charting sample is from his Oklahoma season — playing in an offense that goads defenses into only rushing three players — it makes sense that Hurts’ three-man pass rush rate would be much higher.

 

SITUATIONAL

3rd/4th Down Adjusted Accuracy: 69.08%

3rd/4th Down Conversion Rate: 50.83%

4th Quarter/Overtime Adjusted Accuracy: 73.54%

Red Zone Adjusted Accuracy: 64.00% 

Hurts has the best 3rd/4th down conversion rate of the QBs I have profiled to this point, sans Tagovailoa. In fact, of the five QBs profiled thus far, Hurts and Tagovailoa are the only two to crack the 45% mark -- and both of them also cracked the 50% mark. Given that much of Hurts' game is centered around stability and veteran leadership, it makes sense that he can remain level-headed on critical downs. Of course, playing in Riley's offense at OU lightens the burden, but Hurts still has to make the plays. 

The rest of Hurts' situational stats are also impressive. At well over 70% adjusted accuracy in 4th quarter and overtime, Hurts' numbers suggest he can remain as sharp as ever even as the final clock winds down. In the red zone, Hurts' accuracy number is a bit less impressive, but it's still well within the "average to above average" range and gives no reason for concern. Hurts is often at his best when his legs are a threat and when he can get the ball out early, both of which can be linked to red zone play.