Ravens could upgrade tight end room with a familiar face

Kristen Wong
Ravens, Hayden Hurst (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Ravens, Hayden Hurst (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens need depth at the tight end position in 2022, and former Ravens player Hayden Hurst could be an easy enough addition.

Hurst, drafted 25th overall by the Ravens in 2018, was infamously picked ahead of Mark Andrews, who was drafted in the third round that same year.

The then-highly touted prospect suffered injuries and fell behind Andrews on the depth chart, eventually being traded to the Atlanta Falcons in 2020.

Following the 2021 season, the Falcons have declined Hurst’s fifth-year option, which means he will enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. Could a Ravens reunion be written in the stars?

With Nick Boyle dealing with injury concerns, Baltimore will likely seek tight end reinforcements in this year’s draft. Rather than pick up a young, developmental player who will likely need time to adapt to the Ravens’ offensive scheme, the Ravens could sign Hurst as a reliable TE2.

The Ravens may want to consider signing Hayden Hurst in 2022

Hurst recorded his worst yardage totals since his rookie year in 2021, catching 26 passes for 221 yards and averaging 8.5 yards per reception.

Part of his regression was due to the arrival of Kyle Pitts, whose stellar Year 1 performance all but cements his place in the Falcons offense for many seasons ahead.

Since it seems Atlanta is moving on from Hurst, the Ravens could swoop in and acquire Hurst at a bargain-friendly price.

Hurst showed his willingness to block in Atlanta, and those abilities could translate well into the Ravens offensive scheme, which Hurst is already familiar with.

The Ravens don’t need Hurst to post 500-plus-yard seasons or make big plays in the center of the field when the team has Mark Andrews at his prime. Andrews will remain Lamar Jackson’s favorite target while Hurst can fit in as a powerful blocker who occasionally can find the end zone.

Compared to Atlanta, the Ravens can boast a better quarterback and a well-rounded team primed for a deep playoff run next season — more reason for Hurst to choose the Ravens over the Falcons.

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Bringing Hurst back on the team is a low-risk, high-reward signing that will add crucial depth at a needed position as well as potentially boost team morale.