Overall, Alabama has to be pleased with how Jalen Hurts performed in 2016.
With help from a simplified game plan and brilliant play calling from offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Hurts exceeded expectations during his freshman year.
However, his deficiencies as a passer can’t be overlooked.
Here’s look at Jalen Hurts passing chart from his freshman year, followed by some notes to further dive into to the stats:
- Our chart above uses 20+ yards as the cutoff for deep passes, but even if you lower it to 15+ yards, Hurts competed just 38.3 percent of his pass attempts—an astonishingly low rate considering the talent around him.
- And he didn’t exactly get better as the season went on. During the SEC Championship Game and College Football Playoff, Hurts was just 5-14 (35.7 percent) on throws 15+ yards downfield.
- Hurts did an excellent job avoiding sacks for a young quarterback. He was sacked on 13.9 percent of his dropbacks under pressure. However, he also struggled to adjust to the pressure and threw the ball away at a staggering rate. Some throw aways are smart, but Hurts’ 22 throw aways under pressure were excessive (not to mention the seven throw aways when he wasn’t under pressure). For comparison, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson was sacked on just 11.6 percent of his dropbacks under pressure, but only needed to throw the ball away eight times under pressure.
- On a positive note, Jalen Hurts was exceptional outside the pocket. Excluding throw aways, Hurts completed 60.8 percent of his passes outside the pocket, including seven touchdowns and just two interceptions.