The Baltimore Ravens made several huge investments into their franchise back in April’s 2018 NFL draft. The first, and one of the biggest, was South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst.
The 25 year-old is attempting a career in football after flaming out as a once promising Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect. We’re getting our first look at him in Raven’s OTAs, and if ESPN’s Jamison Hensley is to be believed, he’s off to a great start:
Hurst has been the Ravens’ best pass-catching tight end in offseason practices. He has great hands and consistently gets separation with his speed. If Hurst keeps up this pace, he’ll make an immediate impact in Baltimore’s passing game. Status: Ahead of the curve.
This came from an ESPN article where each first round rookies’ performance, up to this point, is evaluated by their NFL writers. By the sound of it, Hensley is bullish on Hurst and his chances to make an immediate impact. This would be a great relief for Baltimore who has seen their fair share of struggles at the position over the last several years.
Dennis Pitta was struck down by injuries, Maxx Williams has disappointed, Nick Boyle can’t avoid suspensions, and several other attempts to solve the tight end problem have not worked out for Ozzie Newsome. If Hurst is in fact ahead of the curve, he can represent just one of hopefully several successful draft picks from Newsome’s last ever draft while fully in charge of Baltimore’s front office.
While full speed has yet to start up and all OTA reports must be taken with a grain of salt, it’s still nice to hear that Hurst is off to a strong start. If the Ravens are going to get back to a level of relevance, they’ll need to everyone to help turn around their passing game, something that Hurst is in position to help with in a very big way.