Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts has the Philadelphia Eagles flying high in the NFC

As Thanksgiving nears, I am thankful for a group of Black or interracial Americans that have risen above work-ethic doubts, unfair assumptions about leadership skills, and ongoing questions about their intelligence.

I am thankful for Jacoby Brissett of the Cleveland Browns, Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears, Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals, Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks, Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins, and Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos.

Without much fanfare, Black quarterbacks have become more than a passing fancy in the NFL. They are now at the helm of more than a third of NFL franchises, and several are in the mix for All-Pro honors and deep runs in the playoff.

After 11 weeks of the NFL season, the MVP race is a battle between Hurts, Mahomes, and Tagovailoa.

Hurts [NFC East], Jackson [AFC North], Mahomes [AFC West], Smith [NFC West], and Tagovailoa [AFC East] have their respective teams atop of their divisions.

Prescott’s Cowboys are 7-3 and, barring injury and/or too much involvement by owner Jerry Jones, are a Super Bowl contender.

Other Black quarterbacks have started games for respective franchises, as well.

Jameis Winston was the opening game starter for the New Orleans Saints. An early season injury sidelined him, and the team is now going with Andy Dalton. Many Saints fans are questioning this decision, especially since Winston is now healthy.

Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback, started two games for the injured Ryan Tannehill. The first on Oct. 30 against the Houston Texans, and the following Sunday against the Chiefs. He went 1-1 in those games.

P.J. Walker started five games for the Carolina Panthers before an ankle injury injured him. Interim coach Steve Wilkes had tabbed Walker as starter for the remainder of the season, regardless of Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, Baker started las week’s game.

I can’t say I’m thankful that Brissett will surrender his Browns starting job to fellow Black quarterback Deshaun Watson in two weeks. Watson will have completed his NFL imposed 11-game suspension. Whether the Cleveland fan base welcomes him back with open arms remains to be seen.

Of the 32 NFL franchises, 13 have either a full-time starting quarterback of color, or had one start games. That’s a smidgen over 40%, and that is impressive.

The irrational thinking about quarterbacks of color has not gone away. It exists. However, the more there are, there more there could be. The NFL is having progress and diversity forced upon it by quarterbacks who have overcome questions about their color.

Black QBs on way to NFL

According to nfldraftbuzz.com and CBS Sports online, six of the top 12 quarterbacks expected to enter the 2023 NFL draft are players of color, and five of the six are Black.

Bryce Young of Alabama is ranked No. 1, followed by C.J. Stroud of Ohio State University. In most NFL mock drafts, Young and Stroud are forecast to be the top two picks in the entire draft.

Based on current NFL records, Young would go to the Houston Texans and Stroud is destined for the Panthers.

Ranked No. 3 is Hendon Hooker of Tennessee and Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei comes in at No. 5.

Anthony Richardson of Florida is No. 7 and South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler is ranked No. 9.

Washington State QB Cameron Ward is No. 11, Jaren Hall of Brigham Young is No. 12, and K.J. Jefferson of Arkansas is at No. 14.

Taulia Tagovailo of Maryland, Tua’s younger brother, is at 17 and Michael Penix of Washington is No. 23.

The Reid Roundup

Celticswire.com is asking, “is superstar Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum the best player in the NBA right now? The St. Louis native is averaging 30.3 points a game, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. His MVP campaign is being by the Celtics opening the season with a league-best 13-3 record…Congratulations to Aaron Judge for winning the American League MVP Award. Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL prize…Jackson State is favored to represent the SWAC in the 2022 Celebration Bowl, with North Carolina Central on path to do the same for the MEAC. The game is Dec. 17 in Atlanta. JSU coach Deion Sanders is reportedly discussing head coach positions at Colorado and South Florida. 

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