It’s certainly easy to forget that despite all Jalen Hurts has done this year with both his arms and legs, he’s still just 24.
ESPN is here to remind us that fans still have plenty of years left to enjoy his emerging dominance.
In their recently published “top 25 under 25” rankings (ESPN+ subscription only), Hurts ranked ninth among the best NFL players 24 years and younger, with ESPN analyst Matt Miller highlighting the QB’s skillset.
“Hurts is the picture of the modern quarterback, with an ability to beat defenses with his legs, intermediate timing passing and stretching the field vertically. He’s efficient, instinctive and explosive.”
Hurts rightfully deserves his placement
Through 11 games, Hurts has thrown 17 touchdowns to three interceptions, collecting 2,560 passing yards. He’s also rushed for 597 yards and eight touchdowns, putting himself well on his way to beating his career-high of 10 rushing touchdowns last season.
That dominance not only ensured he’d be on this list, but puts him among the top candidates to take home the NFL MVP.
When compared to other quarterbacks, Hurts beat out Tua Tagovailoa (10th overall), but was under Justin Herbert (fifth overall). Herbert has thrown 88 touchdowns over three impressive campaigns, so it’s hard to argue about that placement.
Hurts is also one of five NFC East players to make the list, joining Micah Parsons (first overall), Andrew Thomas (12th overall), Trevon Diggs (15th overall), and CeeDee Lamb (19th overall). Solid company.
In the end, it’s a good feeling knowing the Eagles’ current QB is so highly regarded by analysts. It’s funny to remember how unpopular of a pick he was – and that many felt he was taken too high in the second round.
Now, Hurts would be a top-ten or top-five pick in a draft. Plus, his youth ensures the Eagles will have stability at the position over the next decade plus, assuming they’re able to work out a long-term extension with him (something that seems likely).
Did other Eagles get snubbed from the list?
While Jalen Hurts was a no-brainer for this list, there are several other Eagles who have significant arguments as to why they should’ve cracked this list.
DeVonta Smith is the first to come to mind. Smith, 24, has 609 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns this year, putting him among the best WR2s in football. That yardage total is also 253 more than Kyle Pitts, who came in at 22nd.
Smith was also passed over in the “those that should’ve gotten recognition here” section, and was again topped by players having underwhelming seasons.
Perhaps it will give Smith further fuel to prove those who don’t recognize him as wrong.