Route Running –Understandably raw after playing RB at Tennessee from 2014-2016 prior to transfer. Has much better success in free releases and when able to press up on his stems uncontested. Labors otherwise to get out into space in a timely manner.
Hands –Natural hands catcher...it's a wonder he wasn't featured at WR sooner. Like his ability to extend away from his frame, is comfortable extending back into pursuit to pluck at the ball. Catch radius provides ample room to slot throws over a squatting defender looking to undercut.
Contested Catch Ability –Hasn't been offered a lot of reps in this department, as his targets frequently came in the underneath areas against soft coverage. Promise is present, given his size, length and natural hands to elevate and catch the ball off the rim.
Run After Catch Ability –Slippery. His experience as a running back comes in handy to allow him to pick his way through traffic. Anticipation and fluid steps yield much more success than you'd expect given lack of suddenness but it's a mental feel for spacing and creating false steps.
Football IQ –Long road ahead to become a full-fledged starting receiver but he's certainly got the tools. Needs to start focusing on becoming detail oriented in the basics: stance, release, stem adjustments, rapidly stacking coverage, etc.
Vertical Receiving –Does have a natural feel for getting on the toes of off coverage and subsequently working over top of coverage. Length is present to extend his bucket but he generally lacks the long speed to be consistently targeted or burn through overhead coverage.
Change of Direction Skills –Really loose lower half, extends feet well out from beyond his hips to produce efficient stride alterations in space. That said, he's not particularly springy, he's just going to eat up turf. Does have a nifty little side-step to avoid arriving tacklers.
Speed –Long strides are restrictive to explosive starts. In the open he's able to really extend his strides and will gobble up turf at an admirable rate for his size. But he requires a notable runway to get himself going and shouldn't be considered a vertical target.
Competitive Toughness –Like the effort he put on display, both as a blocker and as a receiver. Still warranted some touches at Baylor and runs fearless into the fire, knowing he's going to get smacked around with his high pads. Blocking will be a key value for him, he brings it every snap.
Blocking Ability –Length, strength and area of influence are all plus qualities as a blocker. Secondary effort is present after his eyes flip inside to see the ball has turned up field. Strength in the upper body helps to clamp down on defenders.
BEST TRAIT – RAC Ability
WORST TRAIT – Route Running
BEST FILM – Oklahoma (2018)
WORST FILM – West Virginia (2018)
RED FLAGS – Underage Drinking Citation
Jalen Hurd is one of the more fascinating WR prospects, as he feels as though he's really just scratching the surface of who he can be. Hurd possesses good hands, a natural feel for navigating in space and more slipperiness than you'd expect to find when boxed in a phone booth. Hurd is technically a mess but he'd be a great developmental project for a team that likes to target size in the intermediate areas of the field. Get him on LBs and SAFs, especially early on.