Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews will complement each other

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 7: Tight end Hayden Hurst #81 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs for a touchdown as he's chased by defensive back De'Andre Coley #20 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages)
COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 7: Tight end Hayden Hurst #81 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs for a touchdown as he's chased by defensive back De'Andre Coley #20 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages) /
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Rookie tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews are not only the perfect complements to the passing game but to each other.

While the Baltimore Ravens waited until Day 3 of the 2018 NFL draft to select a wide receiver, they addressed the pass-catching department early and often. Two of the team’s first four picks were tight ends in the form of Hayden Hurst (No. 25 overall) and Mark Andrews (No. 86 overall). The two bring much-needed talent to the tight end position, something that’s been truly lacking since the days of Dennis Pitta.

I’m a fan of both additions to the roster. The Ravens desperately needed an influx of young passers and these two bring just that. Their skillsets differ coming out of college but Hurst and Andrews will complement each other perfectly at the next level.

Hurst didn’t post glamorous numbers at South Carolina but he’s the tight end in this class that best fits the Ravens’ offensive scheme with Marty Mornhinweg and Greg Roman. Not only does he offer reliable hands but Hurst has the size and experience as an effective blocker. He was utilized heavily as an H-back at South Carolina, lined up at the set back on the line of scrimmage.

Whether it was acting as the leader run blocker or a pass protector, Hurst showed the toughness up front with the Gamecocks. He doubled as a possession tight end, providing a trusted target for quarterback Jake Bentley. Hurst isn’t a flashy talent but a tough-nosed grinder that should thrive in Baltimore. His counterpart complements that skill set.

Andrews is really a tight end with wide receiver traits. The 2017 John Mackey Award winner posted a breakout junior season at Oklahoma, finishing with 958 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Primarily lined up outside in Lincoln Riley’s spread offense, Andrews was a pass-catching machine for Baker Mayfield and the Sooners’ offense. The Ravens don’t run a heavy spread offense but there’s plenty of opportunities for Andrews to make an impact in the receiving game.

We’ve seen the tight end position transition this way with the likes of Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, and Rob Gronkowski. That’s exactly the mold Andrews fits. Whether it’s finding the open space or playing the sticks, Andrews is another wideout for Joe Flacco. He’ll need to improve his blocking but what he provides in the receiving game is exactly why the Ravens doubled up on tight ends in the first three rounds of the draft.

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The Ravens were extremely smart to draft two different tight ends with varying skill sets. It makes a lot more sense than drafting a pair that might step on each other’s toes. There’s no excuse for the passing game not to improve from last season and we should expect Hurst and Andrews to be heavily involved with the production.