clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hayden Hurst is a good all-around TE and would be a great insurance policy for the Redskins

New, comments

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Arkansas at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Hayden Hurst, TE
School: South Carolina | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 24
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 250 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Tyler Kroft

College Statistics

Player Overview

Hayden Hurst was a two-sport athlete in football and baseball when he graduated high school in 2012. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Hurst in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB draft as a pitcher / first baseman. Playing in the minor leagues for a couple years didn't work out well for Hurst and in 2014 he walked on to South Carolina’s football program. Hurst appears to have a bright future in the NFL as a well rounded tight end. Hurst will be over than your average rookie due to his time in the minors but I think he is one of those mid-round picks that can come in right away and contribute to a team. Hurst is one of the better blocking tight ends in this draft class and though he isn’t overly powerful he plays with good technique and a strong base and can seal an edge. Hurst is also a legitimate threat as a receiver and presents mismatches whether he’s lined up in the slot or playing as an inline TE. So far indications are that Hurst will last until the mid-rounds. That is until he doesn’t NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Hurst going to the Jaguars 29th overall. In a TE class devoid of elite top talent it wouldn't surprise me if Hurst improves his draft status by a whole round or more pending the rest of the process.

Strengths

  • Good size for the position and even better athleticism. Not a blazer at the position but has plenty of speed to make plays as a blocker and as a receiver.
  • Impressive as a blocker you can tell he takes pride in it. Has a strong base and core and uses his leverage to turn opponents. Finds targets to block at the second level.
  • A natural catcher who is reliable with sure hands. Can haul in short, intermediate, and long passes. Lined up as an inline TE and in the slot and was moved all over the field including a few runs out of the backfield.
  • Bursts off the LOS when the ball is snapped and gets to top speed quickly. Good athleticism allows him to get upfield quickly, and turn with ease. He also has decent jumping ability and knows how to use his body to shield defenders.

Weaknesses

  • Is age really nothing but a number? He will be a 25-year-old rookie.
  • Could stand to get stronger and learn better technique as a block to help him with sustaining blocks and to help with defenders using interior moves.
  • Somewhat predictable and boring in his route running. Doesn’t attempt to sell or trick defenders one way or the other. Defenders with good instincts can break up would be catches because of it.

Let’s see his work:

More Hayden Hurst videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

The Redskins have three tight ends under contract between Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, and Jeremy Sprinkle. I don't know if the Redskins are interested in bringing back Niles Paul but if they aren't going to they should look at adding some more depth to the position for a few reasons. One is the Redskins must get better at blocking at the position and even as a rookie Hurst stands a good chance at being the best blocker on the team at the position. The second is Jordan Reed’s unreliability. Reed has yet to play a 16 game season in his career and has had nagging injuries with his foot, hamstring, and concussion issues. The third is that Vernon Davis will be going into his second year of a three-year extension and when it's up in 2019 he will be 35 years old. The Redskins have to plan for their starter not to be available, and his backup to not be playing beyond his contract. Looking toward the future the Redskins would have pretty solid depth with Hurst in the mix with Sprinkle with both having the potential to be solid contributors in the passing game and as blockers. The investment in the position may not impress but it may have immediate impact pending the health of Reed and should be more appreciated by fans within the next two seasons.