Not everyone is excited about the Atlanta Falcons trading for tight end Hayden Hurt when NFL free agency began just a few months ago.
The Atlanta Falcons have had some pretty good tight ends over the last decade, first with Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez spending his last five years with the Falcons and then Austin Hooper, whom they drafted out of Stanford in 2016.
Quarterback Matt Ryan helped develop and turn Hooper into the Pro Bowl tight end that he was. Sure, he has talent, but playing with Matt really did help him developed over the last four years, which helped him become one of the highest-paid tight ends in the league.
Matt Connor from FanSided wrote a great article today on each NFL team’s most overrated player and for the Atlanta Falcons, he chose Hayden Hurst – which is odd given he hasn’t taken a snap with the Falcons just yet.
"“Hayden Hurst – We’re not exactly what the Ravens have on someone influential in the Falcons front office, but the fleecing they called an offseason trade involving a second-round pick for tight end Hayden Hurst was comical.While Hurst isn’t yet a bust, he certainly hasn’t looked the part of a first-round pick and the Falcons look a little too anxious to fill the void of Austin Hooper‘s exit.”"
With all things equal in Baltimore, Hurst actually beat out Mark Andrews for the starting job initially. As the offense evolved to the strengths of Lamar Jackson, he simply developed better chemistry with Mark Andrews, which happens. That doesn’t mean that Hurst is a bust or won’t make a huge difference in Atlanta.
Hayden Hurst will be a difference-maker for the Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan has already been on record stating that Hurst is the most athletic tight end he has played with, which should let people know just how talented the third-year tight end out of South Carolina actually is.
"“He is for sure one of the fastest and most athletic tight ends I’ve ever played with,” Ryan said. “He’s a mismatch problem, he’s going to create separation and win in different ways than those guys did.”"
Giving up a second-round pick to acquire a difference-maker, like Matt Ryan believes that Hurst will be, is a small price to pay. With tight end being a huge question mark entering the 2020 offseason and using an additional second-round pick for a first-round talent, it seems like a logical choice and a great decision.
While some may think that the Atlanta Falcons were “fleeced” in the trade for Hurst, 2020 will reveal just how good he is and what a difference-maker he will be for Matt Ryan and the potent Falcons offense.