In 2018, the Ravens had four tight ends on the roster. Two hardworking incumbents, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, and two exciting rookies, Hayden Hurst, Mark Andrews. Many wondered how the coaching staff would utilize each playmaker individually while also improving the on-field product. It’s safe to say Greg Roman, the tight end coach in 2018, accomplished this with all four on the roster; All four landed on PFF’s top five tight ends ranking in the AFC North.
Baltimore dominated the tight end market in the AFC North last year.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 21, 2019
2018's highest-graded TEs from the division pic.twitter.com/Vw7KbrLlVq
Coming in at number one, the Salt Bae himself.
Andrews stepped into the season quickly after a foot injury sidelined Hayden Hurst until Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns. It took only two games until the third-round pick out of Oklahoma caught his first NFL touchdown. Andrews didn’t just flash for a few games, either. He consistently made plays for the Ravens, resulting in 34 catches for 552 yards and three touchdowns, including this 68-yard catch-and-run score against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Second: Madd Maxx
Williams has been an under-the-radar performer for years. He doesn’t make big plays as frequently as many hoped for, but he consistently makes his blocks and catches his passes. Maxx caught 16 of the 17 passes thrown his way. He took those for 143 yards and one touchdown. In Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Williams caught all five targets for 51 yards, including a 22-yard reception on 3rd & 1 to extend the drive which ended with a Justin Tucker field goal.
The Hurdle-meister places fourth
Quick note: I used the phrase, “Nick Boyle jump” in our image search and five separate hurdles popped up, with the above image being the most recent.
The second Delaware product on the field in 2018 finished with a new career high in yards (213) on only 23 catches. Unfortunately, he’s still working on that first NFL touchdown as his first snag in the endzone in Week 1 was negated by a pass interference call.
Boyle does a lot of things well. He’s a polished blocking tight end with good hands and a knack for YAC. Players are forced to tackle him low as he stands 6-feet 4-inches tall and weighs 270 lbs. When they do go low Boyle shows off his vertical by going airborne. While it’s quite the joke on Twitter, there is obviously a reason why he does it.
Placing fifth and rounding out the crew is Garnet Thor.
The first-round pick dealt with an injury all season and many questioned whether he was already a bust. Good grief, fans really need to tone it down. . .
Anyways, Hurst needed a bit more time to develop after missing four weeks of action. By the end of the year, Hurst became more involved. In his last three weeks, Hurst caught six passes for 81 yards. He was strongly utilized in the blocking game as Andrews became more pivotal in the passing game due to his chemistry with Lamar Jackson.
On February 19, Hurst posted an image on Instagram showing he played his rookie season with a screw in his foot. Now, he says he’l back to 100% and ready for his sophomore season.
Many Browns fans were upset with PFF’s rankings, which you can read in the initial posts thread. I’d highly recommend it if your dinner is lacking a bit of salt tonight.