4. Hayden Hurst
Essentially, the Atlanta Falcons got Hayden Hurst with the 55th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Atlanta Falcons traded their 55th and 157th overall draft pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Hayden Hurst and their 2021 134th draft pick. This trade makes sense as the Atlanta Falcons were not able to re-sign tight end, Austin Hooper, to a long term deal so he had to walk for free.
Hurst is also still on his rookie deal – Hayden Hurst was drafted in 2018 – which provided the Atlanta Falcons financial leeway that allowed the team to address other needs like running back and a pass rusher. With the tight ends left on the roster, the Atlanta Falcons were going to utilize their pick on a tight end anyway, so the trade makes sense.
When comparing the two players on paper, you can easily see the gap in statistical data. This is mainly due to Baltimore being a run-heavy offense and the deep group of tight ends in Baltimore.
If the Falcons are to be successful in 2020, Hurst will have to take a huge step forward in production as he will be replacing a guy that nearly racked up 100 targets in 2019. Had the Atlanta Falcons gone into 2020 without Mohamed Sanu, three players could have racked up over 100 targets (Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Austin Hooper).
Hurst will have ample amounts of chances to prove his worth. He will also need to be effective in crucial moments as Hooper saw 54 percent of his receptions go for a first down.
In 2019, Hurst only saw 39 targets his way and only racked up 349 yards. It’s safe to say that Hurst will have a career year in 2020 since he’s expected to see more than three times the targets he’s used to.