Jalen Hurd drafted by 49ers in 3rd Rd – the reaction, analysis, phone call and journey

Athletics – Football vs Oklahoma State – OSU – McLane Stadium Ð 11/03/2018

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

As expected, Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd was picked in the middle rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. The former Vols running back was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd round (#67 overall) on Friday night.

Hurd sits as the 6th leading rusher, in career yards, in University of Tennessee school history. Had he completed the 2016 season at Tennessee and been healthy, there was a very good chance that he would have rushed for the 441 yards needed to eclipse Travis Henry as the Vols’ all-time rushing leader.

Hurd is currently second in school history in career carries with 589. He could have very well surpassed Arian Foster on that list as well with 62 carries the remainder of that season.

Hurd was the 5-star recruit piece in Butch Jones’ first full class that the then coach desperately wanted to re-open the doors to UT to elite prospects, especially in state.

There was plenty of controversy and anger with Hurd’s departure from Tennessee in 2016. Many fans called him a cancer and a quitter for leaving the team mid-season. Hurd wasn’t used in the type of offense he was led to believe he would be. That, the heavy scrutiny he was under at UT, a desire to move from running back to wide receiver and other trust issues led to him wanting to find a new home.

Many questioned his intention to move to wide receiver with the projection that it would be his best position on the next level. Hurd bet on himself while others thought he was crazy. Now, while everyone watches, he’s cashing in on his bet.

Hurd found a home in Waco, Texas at Baylor. After sitting out the 2017 season due to transfer rules, Hurd hit the field this past season with a body that fit his new position, a maturity that impressed head coach Matt Rhule and a versatile skill set that Baylor took full advantage of.

After catching 69 passes for 946 yards and 4 touchdowns along with rushing 48 times for 209 yards and 3 more TDs, Hurd was named Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year.

NFL Draft projections had Hurd as a 3rd to 5th round pick. That was spot on.

49ers GM John Lynch saying that the team spent a lot of time with Hurd and that they were comfortable with his story tells me that the team believed the dysfunction at UT under Butch Jones was what led to Hurd leaving rather than viewing him as a quitter. The blame on Jones would not be surprising to Vols fans who lived through it all and are still feeling the pain of what was left behind.

Hurd has proven all of his doubters about a position switch, including me, wrong. His selection into the NFL continues his path for redemption. Next step…stick and succeed in the NFL. Head coach Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch and many inside the walls of the 49ers’ facility believe he will do that, and help them return to winning ways.

Here’s are numerous informative tweets which has San Francisco’s reaction to Hurd’s selection, the phone call to Jalen Hurd telling him he was being selected and much more.

 


Find more of my broadcasting work at VinceSports.net.

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