Falcons acquire Hayden Hurst from the Ravens

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The Falcons did not waste much time finding answers at tight end. Hours after Austin Hooper signed with the Cleveland Browns, Thomas Dimitroff has already filled the void on offense.

Hurst was the 25th overall pick just two years ago but was limited due to a foot injury his rookie season. Since then, he has been overshadowed by rising star Mark Andrews. This is not to say Hurst is terrible… Andrews is just outstanding. With Baltimore also extending another tight end in Nick Boyle last season, it seemed unlikely they would extend two tight ends from the same draft class. That, on top of it being a weak tight end class, made Hurst a popular trade candidate, with the Jaguars and Patriots being other interested teams.

Hurst is an excellent blocker, but also has some of the most reliable hands among tight ends. He has made it known that he wants to be in a situation where he is primed to catch a ton of passes, and if Austin Hooper’s production the last two seasons is any indicator, this could be the ideal situation for him to do so. With a couple of years left on his rookie deal that will pay him around $3 million in 2020, $3.5 in 2021, and a team option in 2022, Hurst presents an economical choice that has shown some upside in Baltimore.

As part of the Ravens’ tight end rotation last season, the former South Carolina Gamecock caught 30 balls for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Not eye-popping numbers by any means, but he did a lot of the dirty work blocking for Baltimore’s running game and caught passes at a 76.9% clip. Atlanta receives a starter-ready player for just one year less than the four-year contracts received outside of the first round, the value of the pick they gave up.

Hurst needs the opportunity to shine, and his reliable hands will offer Matt Ryan a security blanket similar to Hooper. The reality is that if he had been the starter in Baltimore, his numbers probably would have looked a lot like Hoop’s. It may be a downgrade, but he has the upside to become a top ten tight end in the league and is manageable for the Falcons’ cap situation. They were not going to find an immediate contributor like Hurst outside of the first round in this year’s draft.


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  1. Pingback: Falcons acquire Hayden Hurst from the Ravens – SportsTalkATL.com |

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