The Ravens are trading Hurst and a fourth-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Atlanta completed the trade shortly after reports emerged of Austin Hooper signing a contract with Cleveland. Hurst has shown flashes of his potential since Baltimore drafted him in the first round two years ago, but playing time was hard to come by on a team with Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle at tight end. Hurst should see far more snaps and targets in Atlanta, joining an offense that's regularly among the most pass-heavy in the league. He should immediately slot in atop the depth chart, ahead of Jaeden Graham and Carson Meier.
The Patriots and Jaguars are interested in acquiring Hurst from the Ravens, Eugene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union reports reports. The 2018 first-round pick reportedly wants an opportunity to catch more passes, after averaging 28.6 offensive snaps and 2.4 targets per game in 2019. He may be underutilized in Baltimore, but Hurst's well-rounded skill set makes him a valuable backup to both Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle in the Ravens' TE-heavy offense. It's a luxury the team can afford for the time being, though an offer of an early draft pick or a starting-caliber defensive player might persuade the Ravens to sacrifice some TE depth for the potential to score a significant upgrade at another position. Jacksonville and New England are obvious fits for any pass-catching tight end that becomes available this offseason.
Hurst caught 30 of 39 targets for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. Hurst showed significant improvement in Year 2 after a rookie year that was impacted by a foot injury. He commanded the fifth-highest target share on the team at 9.2 percent and proved to be a viable target downfield with an 8.6 aDOT and a 76.9 percent catch rate. While those are promising peripheral numbers, the fact that he was behind Nick Boyle in the pecking order for targets, even down the stretch, is not an encouraging sign. It's fair to argue that Baltimore misused Hurst considering that Boyle had worse advanced numbers in terms of aDOT, catch rate and drop rate, but Boyle isn't going anywhere with his new contract. Mark Andrews will remain the primary target at tight end in Baltimore, and there's a chance the offense funnels more targets to the receivers in 2020 if the team overhauls the position as expected. Hurst still has some upside, but it's too crowded of a tight end room to make him worth spending any sort of significant draft capital in standard redraft leagues.
Hurst caught both of his targets for 35 yards during Sunday's 28-10 win over the Steelers. Hurst led the Ravens in receiving Sunday in a game in which many of the team's primary starters were rested. He provided his biggest contribution midway through the second quarter, coming back to the ball on a 20-yard pass from Robert Griffin to set up a field goal. The Ravens will have a bye this week before taking on the Texans, Bills or Titans in the divisional round. Hurst caught all five of his targets for 89 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Bills and Texans this season.
Hurst caught one of three targets for nine yards Sunday against the Browns. The second-year tight end has just two catches for 28 yards since his breakout against the Bills in Week 14. Hurst could be in line for more target volume than usual in Week 17 if Baltimore opts to scale back Mark Andrews' snap count ahead of the postseason.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/06||@Green Bay Packers||14||6.78|
|11||11/22||@New Orleans Saints||8||6.12|
|12||11/29||Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|13||12/06||New Orleans Saints||8||6.12|
|14||12/13||@Los Angeles Chargers||11||6.25|
|15||12/20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||7.63|
|16||12/27||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||7.32|
|17||01/03||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||7.63|
|3 Year Avg||31||22||256||2||12||11.64||37|