2020 NFL Draft: Is there any value left in the Jalen Hurts prop bet?

Who takes a shot on Jalen Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft and perhaps more importantly, when? PFN Senior Betting Analyst takes a deep dive in the Oklahoma quarterback and attempts to pinpoint value in one specific Hurts draft prop.

The 2020 NFL Draft features a quarterback draft class that is top-heavy with more question marks about injury and potential than all-pro locks at the position. While Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been the most polarizing player, his former teammate Jalen Hurts is a fascinating prospect who realistically could go any night between April 23-25. Hurts transferred from Alabama to Oklahoma last season and put up impressive numbers throwing to fellow 2020 Draft class member CeeDee Lamb.

The most popular Hurts draft prop attempts to identify the round in which he is selected. Let’s take a look at some player comparisons, potential team fits, and even what our Mock Draft Simulator has to say about prospective landing spots for Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Player Comparisons

We have come a long way from Hurts’ freshman season at Alabama when he became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Crimson Tide since the early 1980s. Hurts led Alabama to a 25-2 record as a starter and two consecutive National Championship appearances. After losing to Clemson in 2016, Hurts was benched for Tua Tagovailoa in the second half of the win over Georgia in the 2017 National Title game. Before we knew it, Hurts was on his way to Norman, Oklahoma, to hook up with Lincoln Riley and the Sooners. While the transition to Riley’s QB-friendly offense led to Hurts putting up massive passing numbers this past season, naysayers will undoubtedly argue that the system may have hidden flaws in Hurts’ accuracy throwing the football.

Despite a decorated collegiate career that includes a Heisman runner-up, question marks remain about just how successful Hurts will be as an NFL quarterback. In addition to accuracy concerns, some question the pocket presence of a quarterback who some evaluators believe may be too quick to abandon a play and take off running. Hurts is nowhere near the level of athlete that his Oklahoma predecessor Kyler Murray was, but he’s still an elusive quarterback with an above-average arm. When attempting to predict his landing spot in the upcoming draft class, it’s essential to identify who NFL coaches and GMs might compare Hurts to during the evaluation process.

Potential Fits 

Is there a team who sees Jalen Hurts as their next Taysom Hill, with the potential to be a jack-of-all-trades utility guy. Or will there be a franchise that thinks Hurts could have a Dak Prescott kind of career path after being a second or third-day draft pick? One team that certainly has the ammo to grab Hurts and who might not be sold on their current starting quarterback would be the Las Vegas Raiders. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock not only have two first-round picks but also have three third-round picks. If the Raiders aren’t enamored with Derek Carr and strike out on Jordan Love in the first round, they might very well be in the market for Hurts in round three. There will be some who might say that the Raiders won’t be in the market for a quarterback in this draft class due to the signing of Marcus Mariota, but in my estimation, that serves as more evidence the front office isn’t sold on Carr as the long term solution.

The Seattle Seahawks currently have a perennial MVP candidate at starting quarterback in Russell Wilson, who just so happened to be a third-round pick himself. If we are looking for a second-round entry into this Jalen Hurts draft prop, look no further than the home of the 12th Man. The Seahawks currently have two picks in the bottom of the second round (numbers 59 and 64) directly surrounding Hurts’ projected draft spot at 62.5, according to FanDuel. The Indianapolis Colts traded away their first-round pick, but Frank Reich and company still have two early second-round picks and mid-level third. Could they use one of those selections to draft Philip Rivers’ potential successor? The Packers and Titans are two other teams with starting quarterbacks locked into place but who pick towards the end of every round and might take a shot at Hurts as a valuable weapon who can also serve as the primary backup.

What does the PFN Mock Draft Simulator think?

FanDuel currently has the Over/Under on Jalen Hurts projected draft position at 62.5 with odds shaded toward the Under at -132. To get a stronger sense of which round Hurts might land for the sake of our draft prop, I asked PFN jack of all trades Jim Roberge if he would run another 100 Mock Draft Simulations. In those simulations, Hurts falls most consistently into the third round at about the 76th overall selection in the NFL Draft. The simulation only had Hurts go in the second round an astounding eight times, although it also only had him fall into the fourth round once.

While I respect the analytics here, it’s important to remember that these mock drafts are never perfect since they are projections based on perceived team needs and the idea of “best player available” can fluctuate based on how the rest of the draft plays out. If a team is targeting Hurts in the early third round but has already seen five quarterbacks go off the board by the end of the second round, it might be in their best interest to jump up into the next round up to get their guy. This is why I find myself thinking Hurts sneaks his way into the latter portion of round two next Friday night.

Suggested Prop Bet

The longest odds on the Hurts draft prop are generally in regards to him going in the first round at +1000 currently. We discussed the odds on this week’s Against the Spread Podcast and George Templeton of the Handle Your Business pod made a case for a team talking themselves into Hurts in round one, although I can’t see that scenario play out. I also don’t see him falling past round three, although round four might present some value depending on which bookmakers you have available in your area. While FanDuel has Hurts being selected in round four at +420, DraftKings has the number at +800, which is quite a disparity. Some books have even had round four included in “the field” bet, which would bring the payout down significantly from +2000 to around +350 in those cases.

The consensus among bookmakers remains that Hurts will be selected in either the second or third round of the NFL Draft. Despite the PFN Mock Draft Simulator indicating that round three is the most likely round we see Hurts taken off the board, I can’t help but think a team reaches slightly and makes him a second-round selection come next week. DraftKings has round two as the favorite at +100, while MyBookie has round three at that exact number. FanDuel has both rounds two and three listed at +128, which provides tremendous value when compared with the competing prices. The decision between betting rounds two and three in this draft prop are a virtual coin flip, although I think round two is the way to go if you can grab the number around the +128 range that FanDuel is offering.

1 Unit – Jalen Hurts – Selected in Round 2 (+128)* 

*The odds on this particular prop bet have gone from +128 on FanDuel at the time the article was posted to +100 at the time of publication. The prop is still available at +125 at MyBookie.ag currently. 

You can follow me on Twitter @ChrisSmithPFN for upcoming analysis. Also, make sure to follow us @PFNBets for analysis from all of our writers on futures and draft props heading into the 2020 season.

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