Hayden Hurst opens up about trade to Falcons
Hurst explained how excited he was to be joining the Falcons on Saturday night, citing how his sister works in Atlanta, and it is only a five-hour drive from his home of Jacksonville, Florida.
What can we expect @haydenrhurst to bring to Atlanta?
How is he training from his home?
We caught up with our new tight end. pic.twitter.com/IaekMzRvDK
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 22, 2020
Hurst, a former first-round pick, will have every opportunity to establish himself as one of Matt Ryan’s favorite targets.
The 26-year-old showed glimpses of his explosive playmaking capabilities with the Ravens last season, averaging 11.6 yards per reception and nearly nine yards per target.
Hurst started in five of 16 games during the regular season, but one of his best showings came during an AFC Divisional loss to the Tennessee Titans. Hurst caught four of six targets for 53 yards and a touchdown, looking every bit as impressive as some of the other weapons in an explosive Ravens offense.
Not to mention, Hurst should benefit simply due to the difference in schemes between the Ravens and Falcons. Whereas the Ravens’ offense was predicated on an unbalanced rushing attack, the Falcons figure to air it out quite often even with former Los Angeles Rams star Todd Gurley joining the backfield.
Of course, Hurst will have big shoes to fill. Hooper made the Pro Bowl in each of his last two seasons with the Falcons, and he had nearly 800 yards receiving and six touchdowns in just 13 games in 2019.
The Falcons can only hope Hurst can come close to matching Hooper’s productivity in 2020, but they are banking on his upside as they hope to bounce back from a 7-9 season.