If you’re looking for a dynamic and versatile offensive weapon in this draft, Jalen Hurd has you covered.
A running back turned wide receiver, Hurd is arguably the most intriguing pass-catching prospect in the 2019 NFL draft class.
Hurd recently spoke exclusively with MCM about his decision to transfer away from Tennessee, playing wide receiver at the next level and why he feels his collegiate career should go down in history.
JM: You had to pull out of the Senior Bowl due to a knee injury. How excited were you to compete out there?
JH: I was really looking forward to it. It would have been another opportunity for me to go out there and showcase my skill set as a dominant wide receiver. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there due to precautionary reasons more than anything. I was definitely excited to be there and to speak with the coaches in attendance. The whole experience would have been a great time for me.
JM: You called it precautionary. How’s the knee feeling today?
JH: My knee is feeling pretty good. I wasn’t able to participate in the combine unfortunately due to the same precautionary reasons. I’m just taking things as they go. I’m doing more day by day.
JM: Do you have a favorite route to run? You’ve mentioned that you plan on playing receiver at the next level.
JH: I definitely plan on playing receiver at the next level. I don’t have a favorite route actually. I’ve never been asked that question before.
JM: Most receivers I’ve spoken with have a route that they prefer or feel like they have more success with. You don’t feel that way?
JH: Playing inside receiver, I’ve ran a lot of flat routes. I’m more of a read route guy. I never developed a favorite though. I had a stem out route that I ran a lot that I was pretty good at running but I wouldn’t label it as my favorite. I’m sure a lot of people tell you they love the slow go. If I had to throw one out there, I’d probably say a double move, an out and up.
JM: Being from Tennessee and having a chance to play there, it could have been tough to have to transfer away in order to better your opportunity. How do you look back on that process and decision?
JH: I think it was a great decision at the end of the day. I don’t know if leaving at that particular time was the best decision, but looking back at the transfer as a whole, I’m very glad that I went through with it. Ultimately I wanted to play wide receiver. That’s what I wanted for me and my career moving forward and it wasn’t gonna happen at Tennessee. Coming to Baylor was the right decision and a great experience. I really enjoyed it.
JM: I’m very curious about your relationship with Butch Jones. Why do you think he didn’t let you play receiver at Tennessee and share your vision with that? When I put your tape on, I see a wide receiver, not a running back. You’re a natural hands catcher. Why do you think he didn’t see that?
JH: I’m not really sure. I can’t speak for him. He told me that he wanted me to play one role in the offense and that role was at running back. He wanted me to play what he wanted me to play and that was about it.
JM: What was the relationship like with him?
JH: My relationship with him is completely fine. I haven’t really spoken to him since I went to Baylor though. When I was there at Tennessee, there was nothing wrong with our relationship.
JM: You had to sit out the 2017 season in order to satisfy the NCAA’s transfer requirements. I’m curious what you think of that rule and what the year spent away from football taught you?
JH: I don’t mind the rule. It keeps people from just transferring all over the place. I think it’s definitely necessary in that sense. The game needs that rule. I enjoyed my year off honestly. It didn’t feel too out of the ordinary to me even though I wasn’t playing. I was still on the scout team and very present with the program. I was playing football every single day. I just didn’t get to go out there and compete on Saturday’s. I really wanted to play of course, especially with how my first season went at Baylor. We didn’t really do that well and I wish I was out there helping the guys. I was able to contribute a lot on the scout team though. I was helping get our defense ready for the some of the looks we thought we may get from our opponents.
JM: In closing, why should a team invest one of their draft picks into Jalen Hurd?
JH: A team should invest one of their draft picks into Jalen Hurd because I did something that’s never been done before. I transitioned from being an elite running back to an elite wide receiver. I was an elite first round worthy running back and now I’m an elite first round worthy receiver. That’s never been done before. Whenever this article comes out, I would love for somebody to tell me different. Point me in the direction of somebody who’s done what I’ve done. When have we seen an elite running back become an elite wide receiver? I know that in this draft, you’re getting the best running back and the best wide receiver when you draft me. You’re getting all that in one person.