Jalen Hurts Knows What He's Talking About, Does Not Lack Confidence

NFL Combine - Day 3
NFL Combine - Day 3 / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

One of the major concerns when Jon Gruden decided to return to the sidelines was over who would supplant him as television's next Quarterback Whiteboard Guy. The answer, as it so often proves to be, is Steve Mariucci. Tom Izzo's close personal friend got his claws into the prospects at the NFL Combine for televised X's and O's. His session with Jalen Hurts revealed a winning guy who both knows a tremendous amount about the game and how to carry one's self with confidence.

Mariucci showed Hurts a play he used to run with the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, then asked the signal-caller to replicate it. Hurts passed with flying colors and did so in style, identifying himself as a "student of the game" in a way that borders on cocky, but can be backed up.

Hurts also made it quite clear that he intends to play his current position in the NFL and is under the belief no one else can do what he does on the field. This is all stuff you'd like to hear when evaluating a prospect.

It's interesting to me how even a little bit of inside access like this can alter my thinking. I'm typically cynical toward the interview portion of the football pageant. But clearly, on a human level, one understands how teams would be turned on or turned off based on how these interactions go.

Perhaps it's important to remember that prospects can help themselves in this area as much as they can hurt themselves.

Hurts may not have the highest ceiling. His personality is a known entity, though, and it is extremely attractive to teams. One can understand why he was able to handle multiple pressure-cooker environments in college and excel.