The Cleveland Browns had former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in for a formal interview. But why?
Baker Mayfield is the quarterback of the future for the Cleveland Browns as of now. Despite the struggles that he had last year, there were tons of exterior factors that led to his poor play, things like coaching and locker room trouble. As he looks to bounce back and lead the Browns to a successful season, it is time for the front office to focus on improving the roster though this year's upcoming draft.
In a new episode that came out of "Building the Browns", Jalen Hurts was shown talking to Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry during a formal meeting session. Given the Browns current quarterback situation, why on earth would they use a formal interview time slot on a quarterback?
Hurts was a star at Alabama before transferring to Oklahoma with the emergence of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. From throwing 23 touchdowns in 2016, to still throwing 17 in 2017 but at the same time having only one interception, there is no question he can ball. In Hurts senior year at Oklahoma, he threw for 3,851 yards with 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
Again, it goes without saying that he has the potential to be a decent quarterback in the NFL. He does not have an arm that would overpower you, he is decent when it comes to accuracy, but he is mobile. Taking all of this in, why would the Browns use the time to interview him?
1. He is mature
There is no doubt that Jalen Hurts had to be a little frustrated when it comes to being benched. Who wouldn't be? Being a star quarterback for a big school like Alabama and having hype surrounds you as a young player has to be very exciting.
Getting benched? Not so much.
No matter where you look, you cannot find one negative thing about the way Hurts handled being benched. No frustration shown, no negative things said about the organization, none of that. He simply kept his head down, respected the decision Alabama made and decided to take his talents elsewhere.
As a young man and player, his response to this situation was absolutely huge in not only showing the world what kind of guy he is, but also in terms of helping his draft stock. With the recent news of the Browns signing backup quarterback Case Keenum, it seems very unlikely for Hurts to see the field anytime soon if he were to be selected by the Browns.
Bringing in a guy like Hurts to help keep the locker room down and not get too emotional in a tough spot in the season is definitely something to think about that could end up doing wonders for the organization as a whole.
2. Inquiry on CeDee Lamb
Let's get one thing straight — Cleveland would be absolutely silly to take a guy like CeeDee Lamb with the 10th overall pick if they do not address the left tackle position before entering the draft.
Hypothetically speaking, let's just say the Browns were to trade for a guy like Trent Williams or get Joe Thuney to help improve the offensive line. If one of these things happens, I would be all for them taking Lamb or going after a "best player available" type scenario.
After you get past Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry on the Browns roster when it comes to wide receivers, they are very thin at the position. Adding a big-time threat like Lamb could be just what they need.
In 2019 with Oklahoma, Lamb posted 62 receptions to go along with 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Lamb is a deep threat and big-play guy, characteristics that would help just about any offense across the league.
Drafting a guy like Lamb could also be the Browns preparing for losing a few weapons on the offense, guys like Beckham Jr and Landry. While the Browns do still have a lot of money left over, the time is coming for them to have to pay their core guys like Nick Chubb, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and company.
Once again, the Browns should only look to take Lamb at 10 if they address offensive line before the beginning of the draft.
3. He can ball
When talking about Jalen Hurts, everyone in the conversation should know that he is a baller. As some of his stats were already mentioned, they are just a glimpse of how electric he is on the football field.
As many fans have seen, mobile quarterbacks have had decent success in the NFL in recent times. Semi-mobile quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes have had great success already in the league. Lamar Jackson, arguably the most athletic quarterback in the NFL, has had decent success as well. While Hurts may be a mix of these examples, the rushing numbers from his college career are still there.
In his freshman year of college with Alabama, Hurts ran for 954 yards and 13 touchdowns. This past season with Oklahoma, he put up some pretty insane rushing numbers: 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Coming from Oklahoma for his last year of college ball, Hurts also ran a very similar schemed offense that Mayfield ran when he was with Oklahoma in college. If the Browns were to take him and something happened to the guys in front of him, at least the Browns would be replacing the guys in front of him with a similar game to Mayfield.
While nobody saw the Hurts interview coming, it is a very intriguing situation that will likely get more buzz and thought to it as draft day approaches.