The Baltimore Ravens selected Hayden Hurst with the 25th-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s all you need to know about Hurst.
If you’re looking for a mature, ready-to-play tight end then Hayden Hurst is your guy. His brief foray into minor league baseball sees him entering the NFL at the age of 25. Instead of viewing his age in a negative view, understand that his body has been allowed to fully mature. Hurst is a player ready for the physical toll of the NFL.
His experience at South Carolina also gives him real experience against big-time competition. The Gamecocks used him in a variety of ways which will help ease his transition to the league. He has great size for the position at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds. That will allow him to threaten defenses down the middle of the field and offer his quarterback a sizable catch radius.
While Hurst will enter the NFL ready to play, his relatively advanced age makes his potential fairly limited. He’s a player who projects to be a solid tight end, but his lack of athleticism will prevent him from ever becoming a star player.
There are also legitimate concerns about his willingness to block at the point of attack. That won’t be an issue for some teams eyeing him, but it makes him a poor fit for teams that want to employ a power running game. Hurst is willing to throw a block, but he’s never going to be anything other than average in that department.
His lack of top end speed will prevent him from truly threatening defenses over the top. Hurst can be a solid possession receiver, but he’ll need to play with wide receivers who stretch the field to truly thrive.
Hurst is going to be 25 years old once he steps into a regular-=season game, which hurts the grade. Hurst has plenty of athletic ability, but it’s tough taking a player who will be 30 years old on his fifth-year option.