Hurst admits he wasn't thrilled with his rookie season, Ben Breiner of The State reports. "For me, I think it was just average," Hurst said. "I give myself a C. I think I'm capable of a lot more. But the foot thing kind of held me back."
The first-round pick missed all of September while recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, then spent the rest of the year playing second fiddle to fellow rookie Mark Andrews (a third-round selection) in the Baltimore passing attack. Hurst said he's back to full strength after getting a screw removed from his foot this offseason, but he'll face tough competition for snaps from Andrews and Nick Boyle. There was some thought the Ravens would let Boyle leave to open up snaps for Hurst, but the team instead handed its veteran blocking specialist a three-year, $18 million contract. Given the competition for playing time as well as the run-first nature of Baltimore's offense, Hurst is staring down a tricky path to fantasy relevance. It probably doesn't help that he's unusually old for a second-year player, heading for his 26th birthday during the preseason. Andrews was far more productive as a rookie and will turn 23 in September.
Hurst revealed Monday that he's finally back at full strength after having a screw removed from his foot, Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun reports.
The No. 25 overall draft pick had the screw placed in his foot in late August to help stabilize a stress fracture, leading to four consecutive absences to kick off his career. The 25-year-old finished the season with 13 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown in 12 games, while fellow rookie tight end Mark Andrews -- a third-round selection -- caught 34 passes for 552 yards and three scores. Andrews is the superior fantasy asset heading into 2019, but the Ravens should have plenty of snaps for both players if they allow Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams to walk in free agency. The team likely plans to expand Hurst's role even if Boyle or Williams sticks around.
Hurst caught 13 of 23 targets for 163 yards and a touchdown as a rookie in 2018.
The first-rounder's season got off to a rocky start when he suffered a stress fracture during the preseason that required a screw to be inserted in his foot. Hurst eventually debuted in Week 5 against Cleveland. From there, he recorded multiple receptions in just four of 12 games while being held without a catch on five separate occasions. Hurst's status as a first-round pick coupled with the possible departures of Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams should lead to the team getting him more involved in Year 2. However, Mark Andrews is on his way towards establishing himself as the team's top pass-catching tight end.
Hurst caught an 18-yard pass off of two targets during Saturday's 22-10 win over the Chargers.
The rookie first-round pick has gotten lost at times in a crowded tight-end room, but has now managed to record catches in consecutive games for just the second time this season. That that is what passes as good news should clue you in to how much faith you should be putting in Hurst down the stretch, particularly in a run-heavy Ravens attack. The season ends Sunday with the playoffs on the line against a Cleveland defense that held Hurst to a single seven-yard catch in Week 5.
Hurst caught all three of his targets for 20 yards against the Buccaneers.
The rookie has been largely invisible from the passing game in recent weeks and prior to Sunday, Hurst had been held without a target in three of his last four games. Hurst averages just 6.0 YPT and is 10th on the team in targets for a run-heavy offense. He will face the Chargers in Week 16.