Moore: Seahawks should draft Jalen Hurts to back up Russell Wilson

Apr 18, 2020, 11:37 AM

Seahawks Jalen Hurts...

Could Heisman Trophy finalist QB Jalen Hurts be the next backup QB on the Seahawks? (Getty)


The Seahawks need a backup quarterback in 2020, and that should be Jalen Hurts. They should use one of their second-round picks on him in the NFL Draft Thursday night and bring him to Seattle.

More from Moore: Six pieces of draft advice for Seahawks GM John Schneider

I get it, you can make a good case for not selecting Hurts and telling me I’m crazy for several reasons:

1) Russell Wilson never gets hurt so backup quarterback is not a priority.

2) Hurts may never be the star he was in college, projecting as the sixth or maybe even the seventh QB chosen in the draft.

3) The Seahawks have so many other needs, why would you waste a second-round pick on a backup QB, whether it’s Hurts or anyone else?

Those are all fair points, but after listening to Sean Salisbury and Ryan Leaf rave about him on our show Friday, I’d like to see the Seahawks pick Hurts.

“Jalen Hurts is gonna go to a team where there’s a mid-level veteran who’s not a superstar, the team is 2-3 and the guy gets hurt in game 6,” Salisbury said. “(Hurts) is the type of dude who throws the ball far better than people think, in the locker room, players love him. He’s a big, strong kid, a coach’s son. Hurts is gonna come in and the (injured starter) never sees his job again.

“Jalen Hurts is gonna be a football player. He’s not a slot (receiver), not a Swiss Army knife, he’s a quarterback. The dude’s gonna win for you. He’s a better pure thrower at this level in college than Lamar Jackson was when he came out. I’d be shocked if he’s not gone by the end of the second round, and if he’s not gone by the third round, the guys who are drafting are (out of their minds).”

Leaf saw Hurts at Oklahoma’s Pro Day and talked with some Ravens’ scouts.

“They were really impressed with him,” Leaf said. “There’s a little RGIII in him. Whoever gets him is gonna have a heck of a quarterback. He reminds me a lot of Dak Prescott when he walked into Dallas.”

Hurts played in three national championship games at Alabama and a semifinal game at Oklahoma. In his four-year college career, he threw for 9,477 yards with 80 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He also rushed for 3,274 yards and 43 TDs. He was durable, too, missing only two games.

Though Wilson has not missed a game in his eight-year NFL career, at some point his luck will run out. He’s 31 now and has absorbed a lot of hits, particularly in the last two years with 98 sacks.

With Wilson’s nondescript backups thus far, the Seahawks’ playoff and Super Bowl chances would have disappeared if No. 3 had been sidelined with a season-ending injury. With a backup like Hurts, you could still hold out hope for a run at the Lombardi Trophy.

And let’s say Wilson goes another year or two without getting hurt, you’d still have a desirable asset in Hurts, who might garner a good return in a trade. As an example, the Patriots got a second-round pick from the 49ers for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Aren’t you a little concerned about who Wilson’s backup will be this year? It could be Geno Smith, but he’s a free agent. Still, don’t you want a better backup than Smith, and a better backup than those who preceded him, guys like Trevone Boykin, Austin Davis and Brett Hundley?

Consider, too, that Hurts’ skill set is similar to Wilson’s, so they wouldn’t have to modify their offense much if Wilson got hurt.

Let’s continue to speculate. Maybe Hurts plays poorly or below average and makes you hope that Wilson returns as quickly as possible. But what if he plays well? What if he looks like Russell when Russell was 24? What if he’s so good that it generates a quarterback controversy when Wilson is healthy again?

What’s that? You say that could never happen? Well, it’s happened over and over again in the NFL. Ask Drew Bledsoe about it – he lost his job to Tom Brady in New England. I understand that this could be an implausible scenario, but it’s more plausible with Hurts than any backup QBs the Seahawks have had in the last eight years.

I don’t know, it’s just something to think about, or it was something I thought about anyway after talking to Salisbury and Leaf. They were convincing enough to make me hope the Seahawks use one of their second-round picks on Jalen Hurts.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.

Seahawks draft coverage

What can the Seahawks do in the draft to maximize Wilson’s talent?
Hawks Draft: What do you want them to do and what they do need?
Heaps: Seahawks are unlikely to trade out of 1st round for 2 reasons
Wyman: Could ‘boom or bust’ Bama CB Diggs be Seattle’s top pick?
Brock Huard’s draft prospects that fit what Seahawks need
O’Neil: 3 things (I think) I know about Seahawks’ upcoming draft

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