NFL Draft: Sooners' Jalen Hurts taken by the Philadelphia Eagles in second round
Jalen Hurts’ remarkable story continues.
Even after he showed significant improvement, Hurts wasn’t expected to be picked until late in the NFL Draft’s second day at the earliest.
But Hurts’ strong showing at the NFL Combine, at OU’s Pro Day and during his interactions with teams had him steadily climbing up draft boards.
Friday night, the Philadelphia Eagles took Hurts in the second round with the No. 53 overall pick.
Hurts was the second Sooners’ offensive player to be drafted, after wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was taken No. 17 overall by the Dallas Cowboys in Thursday’s first round.
"Jalen had a great influence on our program in such a short amount of time," OU coach Lincoln Riley said in a statement. "He had a really unparalleled journey through college football and we're happy and feel thankful the last year of that journey was with us. He's really progressed as a leader, a player and a technician, and I certainly think his best years are ahead of him."
Hurts started at Alabama as a freshman, lost his starting job at halftime of the national championship game following the 2017 season, served as a backup to Tua Tagovailoa in 2018 before leading the Crimson Tide to a comeback in the SEC Championship Game after Tagovailoa was injured. He then transferred to the Sooners, where he was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and led OU to the College Football Playoff.
"It’s all been unprecedented," Hurts said in an interview on ABC. "To sit here, have this opportunity to go to the next level, it’s a blessing. Coming from the east side of Houston and going through all the things I had to go through I learned so much from all of those things.
"To have this opportunity now, I’m just blessed."
Hurts threw for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns with eight interceptions as a senior. He also ran for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns — plus caught a touchdown pass — in his lone season at OU.
"I think it’s helped me," Hurts said of all he's been through. "It’s done nothing but helped me for what comes next. And I’m looking forward to attacking every day and being the best quarterback I can be every day."