Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report listed Hurts as one of his dark-horse MVP candidates for this season along with Joe Burrow of the Bengals, Derrick Henry of the Titans, and Jameis Winston of the Saints.
Knox offered this analysis on why he included Hurts on this list:
"The 22-year-old will have a better team around him in 2021. Offensive tackles Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson are expected to be back from a torn biceps and an ankle injury, respectively, and the Eagles used their first-round pick on former Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith.~~~~It’s possible Hurts can make the sort of second-year leap we saw from Lamar Jackson during his MVP campaign."
Hurts winning the award would be something but quarterbacks winning it in their second season isn’t anything new. Patrick Mahomes did it in 2018 and Lamar Jackson did it in 2019 and Knox even mentioned that Hurts could make a similar “second-year leap” that Jackson did.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is a dark-horse MVP candidate.
Hurts went 1-3 as a starter last year but he didn’t have much to work with. As Knox mentioned, the Eagles made it a point to add help at wide receiver in the form of DeVonta Smith while the offensive line should be improved too after getting ravaged by injuries last year.
Hurts is an unknown as far as the quarterback position goes. He’s able to do damage both through the air and with his legs, which definitely helps put quarterbacks on the map. When Jackson won MVP in the 2019 season, his passing yards weren’t crazy although he did throw for 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions while rushing for 1,206 yards and nine touchdowns.
Hurts is going to have to put up similar numbers this year if he wants to be anywhere near the MVP conversation. He had insane numbers during his lone season at Oklahoma, throwing for 3,851 yards, 32 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while adding 1,298 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns to his resumé. Of course, that took place against Big 12 defenses but it was impressive nonetheless.
It won’t be easy for Jalen Hurts to win the NFL MVP but if he makes enough of a splash, anything is possible, especially with the Eagles being one of the bigger national brands in the league.