2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Jalen Hurd
Position: Wide Receiver/Running Back
School: Baylor University/ The University of Tennessee
Weight: 227 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
Although Hurd started his college career as a running back, he transformed as wideout. When reviewing his catch skills, you need to parse them into two different categories. First, looking at him from a running back perspective, he shows an outstanding gift out of the backfield. Meanwhile, when lined up at a receiver, Hurd’s expansive catch radius that allows quarterbacks to throw away from his body. To his credit, he will extend that condor-like reach behind, below the waist, and above his head.
Like most receivers his size, Hurd uses more accumulated speed rather than electric burst. Yet, as a running back, he will glide to the perimeter and accelerate. Depending on the route, Hurd’s long-striding with pay dividends.
On the outside, Hurd does not possess that initial electric burst. Yet, he will overcome this with the ability to start evolving his approach. In contrast, in the backfield, Hurd runs every route the exact same. As a result of location, he does not need vary anything.
Over four years and two locations, Hurd grew his route tree with timing, snaps, and learning a plethora of offenses. The post, red zone fade, backshoulder, slant and drag will see Hurd maximizing his overwhelming size advantage over corners. In the backfield, the wheel, angle, and flat patterns will catch one-on-one coverage versus a linebacker.
For his size, Hurd surprises many by his fluidity. He breaks off a double move that catches defensive backs flat-footed. Additionally, he shows the dexterity to get the toes down. While not twitchy, Hurd will force defenders to work.
With 637 carries, Hurd developed a rather forceful style that emphasized strength between the tackles and just enough nimbleness to shake the first would-be tackler. More importantly, he cashes in goal line carries with startling efficiency.
This week, Raiders GM Mike Mayock stated that he prefers” big, fast, guys that love football”. Hurd fits the size requirements and shows just enough burst to fit the bill. In the Oakland offense, Hurd could thrive on swing passes from the backfield on one play, and then jump either into the slot or outside the next. Due to his jack-of-all-trades skill set, the Raiders could literally use him in various roles. Moreover, which defender covers him and where. By moving him around, Gruden could give Derek Carr a weapon that forces defensive coordinators to make decisions.