Hayden Hurst: Third-Year Breakout Player?
We’ve all heard the talk of the 2019 MVP, Lamar Jackson taking the next step in 2020. I am curious as to what he’ll do next as well. Along with him are other growing Baltimore Ravens also in their 3rd-year. One of the players that I am already impressed with and hope to see him continue to shine is Mark Andrews. However, this article is about his partner in crime. Hayden Hurst.
Hear me out!
Andrews led all TEs in TD receptions in 2019 with 10. Hurst had 2. I’m not doing a very good job of selling the Ravens’ first pick of 2018, am I? After being riddled with injuries during the offseason, Hurst was outplayed by Andrews due to the chemistry that Mark and Lamar Jackson had right out the gate.
Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh are still expecting big things from the third-year player. The college tape speaks for itself. Have a peek.
Ravens select TE Hayden Hurst with the No. 25 pick pic.twitter.com/NbP6UdmbvI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2018
As you can see, the guy has playmaking ability when targeted. The blocking ability of the 6-5, 260-pounder reminds me of the movie Blindside when Michael Oher pushes the defender into another universe. His home-run hitting propensity is clear as day. He is waiting for more opportunities like below.
Commentator: Does he have enough speed to get there?
Hayden Hurst: ?♂️?pic.twitter.com/X89v9TcNAC
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) December 9, 2019
Next TE on the rise?
Lamar Jackson loves his TEs and uses them more frequently than any other team in the league. Imagine Andrews still making strides, pushing his way into the conversation of top tier TE and Hayden just on his coattails, doing his best George Kittle impersonation of toughness and fired-up personality. I look at the former Gamecock and I honestly see Rob Gronkowski. Is it too early to make that comparison? Yes, but I thought it on draft day 2018 and I am saying it again. I SAID WHAT I SAID!
What fire do you ask? Thor had shown plenty of personality between plays when Lamar missed him downfield. I encourage you to go back and look at the tape. It’s not on a Dez Bryant level (thank goodness), but you can see the competitor in him when he feels like he had a big play but may have been overlooked.
I hope that in 2020 the Ravens’ 2018 top pick can channel all of that built up aggression into a breakout season to remember.