If you believe Jalen Hurd and Baylor coach Matt Rhule, the next Jerry Rice is running routes in Waco.
If you believe an unnamed NFL scout, Hurd was going to be a surefire first round draft pick at running back had he stayed at Tennessee.
I don’t think so.
If you believe Hurd’s departure from the Vols was 100-percent his fault, then he should be considered one of the worst teammates in UT football history.
Not buying that either.
Hurd could certainly make a living playing receiver as he’s doing for Baylor. He’s an incredible talent. Rhule noted his physical ability as being some of the best he’s ever seen. As far as size/speed ratio, I can buy that, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be an elite receiver as Rhule claimed in a recent story by Bleacher Report.
I also never saw anything on the football field to make me believe he would be a lock to be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft. Hurd was a good back, but no one ever confused him with recent top picks in the NFL Draft like Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette or Saquon Barkley. Just look at this year’s draft. Former LSU tailback Derrius Guice was selected with the 59th overall pick and he is simply more talented than Hurd.
Hurd was a power back who could pound a defense, but he didn’t have the moves that the aforementioned running backs had. He would have been a very good professional prospect at tailback, but he wouldn’t have been one of the best in this year’s draft or any others.
Hurd wasn’t even the most productive back at UT when you consider efficiency. Hurd averaged 3.7 yards per carry before leaving the Vols in 2016. Alvin Kamara averaged 5.8 yards per carry that season. Yes, I know Kamara’s touches were outside the tackle box which gave him more room unlike Hurd’s power game, but that’s still a huge difference in production. Kamara was selected in the third round of the draft. I doubt Hurd would have gone much higher – if at all.
Hurd’s stock as a receiver won’t be helped by his departure from Tennessee in the middle of the season. Some scouts will surely view him as selfish and lacking dedication to his team. Who could blame them?
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