Hayden Hurst Has a Message for His Haters
There were high expectations for Hayden Hurst as he entered his rookie season. The Ravens' top 2018 draft pick had the look of an immediate contributor and a clear path to a lot of opportunities.
Then he suffered a stress fracture in his foot, which required surgery and knocked Hurst out of the first four games of the season.
He got back on the field but was surpassed by fellow rookie tight end Mark Andrews and finished the season with just 13 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown.
It certainly wasn't the season Hurst or anybody else expected, and it was frustrating for all involved. But none more than Hurst himself.
Well, Hurst posted a message on Instagram for those of you (you know who you are!).
See that big white thing in Hurst's pinky toe? That's a screw. Yeah, that's gotta be painful, and certainly helps explain why Hurst wasn't as dynamic as we all expected in his rookie season.
It's not exactly clear what Hurst is saying, but the reasonable guess is …
"Hurst posted an x-ray of his foot with a screw in it on Instagram Tuesday and indicated that it had been removed because he's now 100 percent," wrote Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper.
What shouldn't be forgotten in the talk of what weapons that should be put around Jackson is that the Ravens got a really good one just a few picks before Jackson in last year's draft. Hurst just needs a chance to show what he can do when healthy, and he'll get it.
"The team likely plans to expand Hurst's role even if free agents Nick] Boyle or [Maxx] Williams stick around,” [wrote CBS Sports.
New Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman told "The Lounge" podcast that he has a lot of confidence in Hurst, and believes he'll make a great tandem with Andrews.
"I really liked how [Hurst] caught his stride toward the very end of the season," Roman said. "He didn't have a ton of opportunities throughout the year to really impact a lot of games. He just kept grinding, kept fighting through. It was a great experience for him, and I expect him to be that much more of a pro coming into this year.
"They're only going to get better. Those guys [Hurst and Andrews], they're going to be really good."
Daniel Jeremiah: Ravens Should Build a 'Track Team' Around Jackson
One of the takeaways from Roman's press conference yesterday is that there is still work to be done in terms of adding offensive personnel, and that will shape the direction of the offensive scheme.
Former Ravens scout turned NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah joined “Glenn Clark Radio” yesterday to talk about how he would build around Jackson, and he had some interesting points.
While Jeremiah likes the Ravens' physicality in the running game, he says this offseason is all about adding more speed.
"You've got to pay that [physicality] off with some home runs," Jeremiah said.
"I would build a track team of receivers around him. So, if [defenses] want to dedicate resources to try to stop that run game, you're going to pay for it and you're going to pay for it in one big play."
Jeremiah said Jackson will continue to develop as a passer but doesn't think he'll ever be a 70-percent accuracy kind of quarterback. Thus, Jeremiah thinks the Ravens should maximize his throws with players that can turn it into big gains.
"Having to have four third-down conversion throws on a scoring drive is not going to be a recipe for success," Jeremiah said. "You're much better off when you can get some chunk plays, some explosive plays in the passing game. That's why I'd be out with my stopwatch trying to build a track team."
Some candidates in the draft are Oklahoma's Marquise Brown (though he'll miss the Combine after having foot surgery), Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf (Jeremiah expects him to run in the 4.3s) and Ohio State's Parris Campbell.
But Jeremiah really likes one prospect for Baltimore, and that's Georgia's Mecole Hardman.
"There's a kid from Georgia that is one of my favorite players to study at the position – Mecole Hardman," Jeremiah said. "He is the perfect Raven for what they're trying to do."
In a recent article, Jeremiah listed Hardman as the one player the Ravens should keep an eye on at the Combine. "The Ravens need to give Lamar Jackson some weapons, and Hardman can fly. The buzz is starting to build in personnel circles," Jeremiah wrote.
Here are some highlights from Mecole's junior year, in which he caught 35 passes for 543 yards and seven touchdowns.
Reports: Steelers Owner Agrees to Trade Antonio Brown
Now to our daily dose Antonio Brown update …
Brown and Steelers Owner Art Rooney II met yesterday, and they both agree that it's "time to move on," according to a tweet from Brown.
Brown's account of the meeting was confirmed …
… and reacted to.
So where does Brown want to go? And what can the Steelers get in return after all this drama?
Reggie Wayne Proposes an Odell Beckham Jr. to Baltimore Trade
Speaking of elite wide receivers who could be traded …
In a segment called "Make Me An Offer," NFL Network's Reggie Wayne proposed that the Ravens should get New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in exchange for linebacker C.J. Mosley and third- and fifth-round picks.
Let me preface this by saying there's a reason why I didn't feature this higher.
Beckham's name has been tossed about in media trade chatter recently because of some recent reports, such as this one that the Giants almost traded him to the Patriots during the 2018 season …
There was also a prediction from Jay Glazer that Beckham will be traded this offseason. And this cryptic tweet from OBJ, which, again, got a response from Jefferson.
With all that said, this seems highly unlikely and there's really been no reported connection here.
Can I just point out that the Ravens would first have to sign Mosley to a new deal in order to potentially trade him to the Giants? And that Beckham has a $21 million cap hit next year?
- Robert Griffin III is confident that Jackson will become a more accurate passer. "With Lamar, I equate inaccuracy with just knowing, experiencing and feeling the way the game is played at the NFL level," Griffin said. "Some guys are just inaccurate. They have a strong arm and they can't hit a target. But Lamar can. He is an accurate quarterback."
- John Harbaugh went back to his high school, Pioneer, in Ann Arbor, Mich., to talk to young athletes alongside his brother, Jim.
- The Ravens have four of the top 50 free agents set to hit the market: Mosley (No. 13), Za'Darius Smith (No. 22), John Brown (No. 30) and Terrell Suggs (No. 46). [The Athletic]
- San Diego native Tony Jefferson was pumped about former Oriole Manny Machado signing a record-breaking deal with the Padres.