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

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than i hope he keeps it up! go kid! hope he is the future at TE i am getting sick of sinking picks at that position

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Dennis Pitta was taken with the 114th pick in the draft. Also, he's much more of an exception to the rule about older prospects not panning out than the exception that proves the rule wrong. 

Also, for the record, if the Ravens were going with a TE the guy I actually wanted is/was Gesicki. I'm not one to value combine performances but his numbers there actually translated onto what he did on the field. No value as a blocker whatsoever... but I don't care. Gesicki is a guy that can make a legitimate impact on the offense. Change things for the scheme and what defenses have to do to prepare for a team.

Also, with less of a focus on blocking him or a similar prospect is probably going to make plays earlier in his career. It's just easier to keep on being a receiver (Evan Engram, anybody?). Let blocking tight ends block. Keep receiving tight ends receiving. Legitimate tight ends who can do both are rare, hard to develop, and generally not as impactful on the passing game as you would like anyways. 

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17 minutes ago, Danand said:

You don't kneed strong biceps whatsover. Its the triceps which you need. Biceps are for looking good when doing curls, but thats basically it.

You absolutely need both. Locking your arms as a blocker utilizes all three muscle groups.Blocking-The-Swim-Move.png

The chest and triceps as the main muscle groups and the biceps as a secondary group to gain the grip and lock. But more important for primary usage of the biceps are blocking nuances where you use the biceps to pull the defender into you thus causing him to lose his balance before going to your inside arm lock.

Now you may say, “that’s holding”, it sure is, but that’s why it’s nuance. The move needs to be quick and you have to do it close to your frame to hide the move from visibility of the umpire. But it’s no less illegal than holding onto another basketball players’ jersey to make it easier to guard him. If you do it right and don’t get caught, it’s an aid to better defense. But the above technique is lethal when used against players that have plenty of power and explosiveness but have little balance. All of the best run blockers or leverage blockers are generally pros at this technique to erase hyper athletes that have horrible technique.

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Well of course you need strength in your entire body, and you have to train every muscle group to avoid injury. But biceps are just not used as much as every other muscle group

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1 hour ago, coordinator0 said:

Also, with less of a focus on blocking him or a similar prospect is probably going to make plays earlier in his career. It's just easier to keep on being a receiver (Evan Engram, anybody?). Let blocking tight ends block. Keep receiving tight ends receiving. Legitimate tight ends who can do both are rare, hard to develop, and generally not as impactful on the passing game as you would like anyways. 

they should use Boyle more as he is a very capable blocker and an underrated receiver iyam. Hurst the receiving TE, Boyle the blocker, Williams sunk cost. done.

finally a young-ish TE core you could build on for some years.

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2 hours ago, Danand said:

Well of course you need strength in your entire body, and you have to train every muscle group to avoid injury. But biceps are just not used as much as every other muscle group

Honestly I think this is just being overly difficult. The point of the conversation was talking muscle groups. Baseball players focus on forearms and shoulders more. The upper arm and chest is a muscle group that football players focus on. Do you disagree with this or no?

Because generally when targeting your biceps you’re following that up by targeting your triceps as well and vice versa.

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On another note, speaking of Williams, it’ll be interesting to see if he can fully recover from his injury. It seemed pretty serious and thus I’m sure he wasn’t 100% in 2017. I’m interested to see if 2017 is as good as he can heal or if he can’t also make some headway and get back to form, being such a young player.

If Williams can get back to his previous athleticism than adding Hurst to that could certainly make for a really good TE group turnaround.

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8 hours ago, diamondbull424 said:

On the other hand his blocking will have to focus more on using nuance to win, using angles and quickness vs power, similar to a ZBS offensive lineman vs a mammoth man blocking scheme OL.

Which is mostly what I saw him do in the three cut-ups I re-watched last night.  He was decent at being able to use angles to get himself in between the defender and the RB, but with the exception of when he was blocking much smaller DBs when lined up out wide as part of a bubble screen, I didn't really see him move anybody

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I will say, he speaks very well.  I can see why the FO staff and coaches might have been excited by his character

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I was a bit disappointed with the pick in the first (albeit better at 25  than 16).  That said, as I mentioned in one of the pre-draft threads, he was one of the most natural catchers I walked in receiving drills.  The age and production (TDs) concern me a bit, but he's a natural athlete and I'll be cheering for him.

I have a soft spot for USC as well (spent many a crazy night in Five Points).

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Any optimism or positive thinking from this pick is going to be needed to be pulled from his natural hands. He catches everything possible with little to no effort or thought. Imo, that's pretty much where it ends though. His blocking is oversold and certainly not a strength. On angular blocks he does a decent enough job of walling the defender away, but there's no natural core strength or driving power with him. The Michigan Game was a disaster for him and he got bullied frequently. What disturbs me too is that it's the last game of the season. You'd hope he could have made strides with his technique or at least be more successful, but it was his worst outing as a blocker. Utilizing him as any real addition to the run game in line is out of the question to me.

As a receiver, hands aside, he's a pretty fluid mover but there's a lack of acceleration and speed within those first 10 yards that has me concerned. His economy of movement isn't special and defenders can hang with him pretty easily in that range. If he get's moving vertically and stems off he can create some decent separation but I don't like him in a check down role. He has the hands to be a good safety valve, but it would be more of the same with gains of 3,4,5,3,2,4. Defenders will close too quickly and he doesn't have that Ray Rice burst or YAC to make something out of nothing. So I hope they aren't envisioning that kind of role.

I really don't think he's any faster than Benjamin Watson and adding in the lack of experience and understanding of the game's nuances, I'd temper any hopes of some big increase in impact from the position other than more reliable hands. His ability to break tackles might be a little better but he really isn't this gronkish type figure. He finishes runs hard but broken tackles aren't common place with his game.

Bottom line for me, the best way to sugar coat this is to view him as a bigger Boldin at TE. He can be targeted for big time strong catches and move the chains. Which is an element the FO no doubt felt was missing from our attack. We essentially spent a 1st round pick on elite hands. If he learns how to contort his body and box the defender out, we could have a great weapon on our hands. If he proves he can separate from LBs and DBs even better, but I'll take a wait and see approach. 

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I was extremely down on him as a prospect when we drafted him as we but when I actually watch the tape and realized he only had 1 drop in 100 career catches and the fact that we still got Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews... I was not as angry lol... I saw very good speed for the Tight end position and he fights for the ball... I always doubted Max Williams because he always looked slow even in his highlight tape... Hayden appears to have some very decent speed imo and runs with determination after he catch... in our offense the TE holds higher value because of how frequently we use them... So all in all I’m not really angry about the pick... I see him and Andrews being a much better 1-2 TE punch than the last time few times we drafted two guys in the draft at the position and obviously they should be because they were both drafted in earlier rounds than their counterparts were... I’m optimistic... but after Lamar got picked I don’t think anything could have pissed me off... Although I would have loved a RB... but u can’t get everything u want 

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2 hours ago, diamondbull424 said:

I think the obvious usage will be to insert Hayden Hurst into the 3rd down pass blocking back role, while Mark Andrews plays the H back or Y receiver role during shotgun formations. Hurst has done this at the college level.

Hurst isn't actually a good blocker though.

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15 minutes ago, coordinator0 said:

Hurst isn't actually a good blocker though.

He’s a much better blocker than any of our running backs. Plus he has hands and route running ability which would exceed what they are capable of. Lined up as a back, his only job would be to buy the quarterback a split second if things break down. Kyle Juice wasn’t an amazing blocker either. He was solid and was a threat as a receiver and he stole a lot of those shotgun back opportunities. There are very few backs that can block like a Vonta Leach, Ovie Mughelli, or Lorenzo Neal. Everyone else is just there to stop a pass rusher in his tracks to buy half a second for the quarterback to get the ball out. Hurst has that ability.

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