Welcome back to the 2021 Dynasty Football Profile series. We have been rolling out a series of posts on players entering their second year in the NFL. I will be focusing on four quarterbacks entering their sophomore year, with this week's focus on Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 2020 NFL QB Draft Class featured three others that I will tackle as we inch closer to the NFL Preseason.
Justin Herbert looked like a seasoned vet, Joe Burrow is returning from injury and I have already written about the Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa.
Make sure you check back later this Summer for each quarterback's 2021 Dynasty Football Profile.
Hurts led the Eagles' offense in the final four games of the regular season and showed off his potential as a Fantasy quarterback. He did this behind a banged-up offensive line and with limited offensive weapons. I am very excited to see what he can do with time and some added weapons in rookies DeVonta Smith and Kenneth Gainwell!
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2021 Dynasty Football Profile: Jalen Hurts
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Hurts played three full games as a rookie, in Weeks 14, 15 and 16. In that three-game stretch, Hurts attempted 113 pass attempts, good for 7th most in the NFL. Jalen averaged 282.3 passing yards per game and 79.3 rushing yards per game, adding five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. The only quarterback with more Fantasy points than Jalen Hurts during this three-game stretch was Josh Allen. Problem is, Hurts only completed 54.87% of his passes.
Sports Injury Predictor took things a step further with their analysis of Hurts' accrued Fantasy points:
Hurts also played most of the 2nd half in Week 13, after Carson Wentz got yanked from a loss at Green Bay. If we take that outing, his half-game in Week 17 and the 3 full starts, call it 4 games and extrapolate his numbers over a full 16, we get:
- 4,112 passing
- 24 TDs
- 16 INTs
- 1,204 rushing yards (on 204 carries)
- 12 rushing TDs
- 8 fumbles lost
Tight End's Zach Ertz (27) and Dallas Goedert (24) led the team in targets between Weeks 13 and 17, with Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward each seeing 21 targets. None of them gained more than 200 yards and only Ward (3) caught more than one touchdown.
DeVonta Smith is going to be a difference-maker for this offense, with or with Ertz, who is rumored to be out the door in Philly.
If you want to know just how bad things were in Philly last year, take a look at the breakdown Rob wrote in his Michael Pittman profile piece, while talking about Carson Wentz!
Offseason Change of Scenery
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Nick Sirianni is the new Head Coach while Shane Steichen has signed on as the Offensive Coordinator. Sirianni comes over from the Indianapolis Colts where he was Frank Reich's OC. Steichen was the Los Angeles Chargers OC during Justin Herbert's rookie season. It does appear that the Eagles' offense is in good hands.
Philly traded up to draft DeVonta Smith ahead of the New York Giants. He is the deep threat the offense has lacked in recent seasons. Hurts only attempted 17 deep throws and completed 41.2% of them, according to Fantasy Data. I think lack of a legit deep threat and poor protection played a huge role in that low completion percentage. That being said, Hurts was one of the worst when it came to making bad throws. Jake Luton was the only other quarterback with 100+ pass attempts with a worse percentage.
The Eagles added Landon Dickerson with their second-round pick to provide some depth on the offensive line. If their veterans return from injury to anywhere near the previous versions of themselves, Philadelphia's offensive will look much better and should be much more efficient in 2021.
They added Kenneth Gainwell in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and also signed Kerryon Johnson this offseason, to go along with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott in the backfield. I would imagine Gainwell's role is more of a receiver out of the backfield. I am sure he will lineup as a wide receiver at times as well.
As always with a new head coach and offensive coordinator, we will just have to wait and see how the Philadelphia Eagles operate on offense.
One thing we know is that Hurts will gain a large percentage of his fantasy points with his legs. It is built into his value.
With a legit deep threat in DeVonta Smith, a highlight reel receiver in Jalen Reagor and an up and coming tight end in Dallas Goedert, who is ready to gobble up Zach Ertz's targets, Hurts has limited excuses not to succeed this year.
Hurts has the opportunity to become that late-round QB that turns into a league winner if everything goes right in Philly!
If the Eagles do trade Zach Ertz, it is just one less weapon for Hurts, who is already playing with a limited group of pass-catchers. It also means fewer two tight end sets and potentially less protection and time to throw.
That might be a huge problem if the veterans returning from injury do not return near 100% or re-injure themselves.
Hurts is going to lean heavily on Smith, Reagor and Goedert but I think the offense will be limited if Miles Sanders (and company) can't get things going on the ground. I do not believe Hurts is built to lead an offense with his arm. It will be play action and his scrambling ability that makes him a reliable Fantasy quarterback.
Wrapping it up
Hurts is in a prime position to break out in his sophomore season. If the offensive line can stay healthy the Eagles could own one of the top offenses in the NFL.
I love the coaches the Philadelphia Eagles hired. Their success in recent years makes me nervous as a New York Football Giants fan.
I am absolutely buying Jalen Hurts in Dynasty Football before the 2021 NFL season kicks off. He is currently listed as QB14 in our Dynasty Rankings (with Deshaun Watson still listed, for now) but I imagine he will be climbing those rankings week after week. Don't wait too long to make an offer!
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