With the 25th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens select tight end Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina.
It only took two trade backs but the Baltimore Ravens have made their first-round selection. In Ozzie Newsome’s curtain call as general manager, he’s selected tight end Hayden Hurst with the 25th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
The former baseball standout and South Carolina tight end heads to Baltimore.
The Ravens had their choice of best player available at pick No. 16 and traded back. They had their choice of an offensive lineman or wide receiver like D.J. Moore and they traded back. At pick No. 25 Ozzie Newsome had the opportunity to draft a beloved Alabama wide receiver in Calvin Ridley and took Hurst instead. That shows the desperate need for a productive tight end.
This pick fills a huge need for the Ravens. Moving on from a 37-year old Ben Watson needed to happen and Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller don’t provide sufficient production in the passing game.
Its obvious fans would have wanted a freakishly athletic tight end like Mike Gesicki or Dallas Goedert but the Ravens went with the three-down tight end in Hurst. At 6-5, 250+ pounds, that’s still a massive target. Hurst possesses the dual ability to be a sufficient blocker up front and play the seams in the passing game. In an offense where Alex Collins is expected to receive the bulk of the touches out of the backfield, that’s important.
Hurst is an older prospect at 25 because he was drafted out of high school and played two years with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. The Ravens don’t seem to be bothered by age and there’s still plenty of upside with this pick.
Joe Flacco hasn’t had a legitimate target at tight end since Dennis Pitta. The Ravens gave him one with Hayden Hurst.