What the addition of tight end Hayden Hurst means for Falcons

When the Falcons announced they would let Austin Hooper hit the free agency market, tight end became an immediate need for the team to fill.

That's why Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff made a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for former first-round pick Hayden Hurst.

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Hurst, 26, caught 43 passes for 512 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons with the Ravens. Hurst fell to No. 3 on the Ravens' depth chart after the emergence of Mark Andrews as pass-catcher and Nick Boyle as one of the league's top run-blocking tight ends.

The addition of Hurst gives the Falcons depth and experience at tight end. Atlanta released Luke Stocker on Monday, which left Jaeden Graham as the lone tight end.

A former baseball player who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 in the 17th round, Hurst's athleticism is one of his best traits.

The connection between Matt Ryan and his starting tight end has proved to be an important part of Atlanta's success on offense dating back to his time with Tony Gonzalez.

Hooper caught 214 passes for 2,224 yards and 16 touchdowns during his four seasons with Ryan in Atlanta.

Hurst is reliable as a pass-catcher and blocker and the Falcons will certainly utilize him as such.

In his final season at University of South Carolina, Hurst caught 44 passes for 559 yards and two touchdowns after beginning his collegiate career as a walk-on.

At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Hurst has the size to be able to make contest catches over the middle.

The Falcons finished with the No. 3 ranked passing offense in 2019 and No. 13 in the league in points per game, averaging 23.8 points per game.

The Atlanta Falcons traded with the Baltimore Ravens for tight end Hayden Hurst. Hurst was a 2018 first-round draft pick by the Ravens. Check out these photos of his career so far.

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