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2018 Ravens 1st Round Draft Pick (#25) - Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

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Overview
Hurst's initial opportunity at athletic stardom came up short in baseball, but he has his second shot and plays like every down could be his last. His fearless play demeanor combined with size, strength and athleticism make him a well-rounded prospect with the versatility to line up all over the field. He's sure-handed and could become a young quarterback's safety blanket if he improves elements of his route running. He should see early snaps and has the ability to become a good combination tight end.
Strengths
  • Good combination of size and quickness
  • Moved all over field
  • Rabid and rowdy in his play
  • Quick release into routes
  • Athletic with above-average play speed for the position
  • Willing and capable pass catcher on all three levels
  • Has the feet and acceleration to burst open from breaks
  • Separates from garden-variety linebackers in coverage
  • Instant opener when sinking into zone holes
  • Hands are sticky and ball focus is elite
  • Had one drop against 100 career catches
  • Reliable inside the hash marks
  • Makes subtle moves to shield catch-point from linebackers
  • Secures through contact
  • Runs with power and balance after the catch
  • Will seek out collisions rather than running out of bounds
  • Has frame and grit to improve as in-line blocker
  • Capable move blocker able to adjust to targets
Weaknesses
  • Will be a 25-year-old rookie when next season starts
  • Appears to be giving route clues to defenders at times
  • Doesn't manipulate defender often enough from breaks and stems
  • Out-breaking routes have been getting jumped for two consecutive seasons
  • Had safeties run his routes on various occasions
  • Will need work as in-line blocker
  • Hands fly out wide into first contact
  • Can improve his play strength at point of attack if he gets his hand placement right
  • Ducks head into contact
  • Won't always look to improve positioning with quality footwork after contact
Sources Tell Us

"He's a grown man out there. No, he is literally a grown man. I love watching him play but he's 24 now so I think he's maxed out. He is who he's going to be physically so now we have to see how much better he gets as a football player." -- NFC Player Personnel Executive

 

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I heard he dropped only 1 pass his whole career in college. 

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I’ll wait to judge this by whom we pick up with our additional picks.

I can’t really justify passing up on Edmunds/James, but I’m not mad at passing up DJ Moore if we pick up a quality receiver with a traded pick.

1. Hayden Hurst

3. Michael Gallup

I have Gallup rated similarly to Moore. So add an effective and athletic tight end to the equation and I can dig it. We’ll need to strike a song of fire and ice in the 4th for it to justify passing over James.

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Hurst known for outstanding hands with one drop in college, and that has to appeal to team that saw dropped passes turned into INT TDs more than once last year

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Worst first round pick for the Ravens... ever? At least Perriman, Elam, and to a (much) lesser extent Clayton made sense. They were actually prospects worthy of going where they were selected.

This is what desperation to win now looks like folks. 

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"He's a grown man out there. No, he is literally a grown man. I love watching him play but he's 24 now so I think he's maxed out. He is who he's going to be physically so now we have to see how much better he gets as a football player." -- NFC Player Personnel Executive 

?

They might get 7 years out of the dude.

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I'm surprised that some of you guys are this surprised at picking Hurst. I honestly think they'd take him even if Moore was on the board.

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Just now, Ras said:

I'm surprised that some of you guys are this surprised at picking Hurst. I honestly think they'd take him even if Moore was on the board.

It's not surprise. This was rumored for a while. It's disgust.

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1 minute ago, Ras said:

I'm surprised that some of you guys are this surprised at picking Hurst. I honestly think they'd take him even if Moore was on the board.

Most likely... the way they moved back and settled back in right behind the Panthers, but before the Steelers, Jags, Pats... they were definitely targeting him. 

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In the press conference Ozzie pretty much tipped his hat that the other player we were interested in was DJ Moore. Said we lost one player after trading back from 22 to 25. That’s the most logical player to have lost.

Im going to rewatch tape of Hurst. But I disagree with the thought that this is the worst pick in franchise history in the first round.

Watching the press conference, I think I understand why they valued him as high as they did though. They mentioned his ability to play slot, in line, as well as operate from the FB spot. All while having elite hands. I’m thinking we’re looking at Hurst as a combination between Dennis Pitta and Kyle Jusczcyk and we save Patrick Rikard for more goal line, short yardage, and obvious running type of situations.

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Worst pick would be going way too far. He hasn't even put on a uniform and he's already better than Perriman. Better than Kindle and Ealm combined! 

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7 minutes ago, diamondbull424 said:

In the press conference Ozzie pretty much tipped his hat that the other player we were interested in was DJ Moore. Said we lost one player after trading back from 22 to 25. That’s the most logical player to have lost.

Im going to rewatch tape of Hurst. But I disagree with the thought that this is the worst pick in franchise history in the first round.

Watching the press conference, I think I understand why they valued him as high as they did though. They mentioned his ability to play slot, in line, as well as operate from the FB spot. All while having elite hands. I’m thinking we’re looking at Hurst as a combination between Dennis Pitta and Kyle Jusczcyk and we save Patrick Rikard for more goal line, short yardage, and obvious running type of situations.

It's not quite an ability so much as it is the team just putting him in those spots. Hurst isn't a good athlete. He can't be moved all over the field creating mismatches... generic defenders will do fine on him. Sure, his hands are good, but that's not a particularly special trait to bank on. Especially in the first round. And it's not like Hayden is ready to roll now. Most tight ends need to develop to make an impact in the NFL, and even more so for one that's supposedly going to fill all these roles. Hurst is no exception to this and might actually be a bit further behind than your typical prospect. Then there's the elephant in the room:

Yeah, I have no hopes for this pick. He's just going to be in the rotation with Boyle and Williams for two or three years and that's that. Whatever. 

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I thought Danny Watkins was older when drafted than Hurst is now?

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18 minutes ago, drd23 said:

I thought Danny Watkins was older when drafted than Hurst is now?

Oldest TE drafted in the first round over last 20+ years.

But a Watkins comparison isn't helping his case anyways... :D

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Oops, missed the TE bit.  But yeah, the notable old draftees in the first round recently haven't exactly set the league on fire (with Brandon Weeden being another)

The playing down of his age in the press conference was a little disappointing

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