The Baltimore Ravens selected Hayden Hurst in the first round of this past NFL draft, expecting him to be the talisman at the tight end position. He is the current favorite to start the season.
This would be impressive for a rookie at any position, especially one that usually takes a bit of a transitional period. Another rookie that will be requiring a transition is Lamar Jackson who Baltimore also took in the first round of the draft.
Jackson comes in behind starter Joe Flacco as the number two guy and probable starter in the near future. Hurst recently had an interview with Sirius radio where he compared the vastly different passers and how it’s been to practice with them:
“They both bring different things to the table.” Hurst said. “Joe has an extremely talented arm. He’s been doing it for years, Super Bowl MVP. And, of course, Lamar brings a whole different dynamic with his legs to the game. Both of those guys can throw it where they want it. They’ll put it up even when I’m not open and they trust me to go make a play. And that’s what I tell them I’m going to do: ‘If you’re ever in trouble, just put it up. I’m going to make a play for you guys.”
That’s what a quarterback wants to hear from his tight end: Put the ball near me and I’ll come down with it. The Ravens are a franchise known for struggling at wide receiver, but they’ve always seemed to be able to figure it out at tight end.
Shannon Sharpe, Todd Heap, Dennis Pitta, and others make tight end a legacy position in Baltimore. If Hurst does indeed play like he seems to believe he can, he’ll have no problem filling those shoes.