The Ravens wanted another high draft pick and the Atlanta Falcons wanted Hayden Hurst.
Both teams got their wish when the Ravens sent Hurst and a fourth-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for second- and fifth-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The deal was officially announced by the Ravens Wednesday, and it gives Baltimore significant clout in the first three rounds of the draft – one first round pick, two second-round picks and two third-round picks.
"Hayden is a talented, emerging player in this league and a high-character individual for whom we have a lot of respect," General Manager Eric DeCosta stated. "We are grateful for the contributions he made to our team and for the role he played in our success the past two seasons. We feel this is a mutually beneficial deal, and we wish Hayden the very best in Atlanta."
Hurst is a talented tight end who was a first-round pick (25th overall) in 2018. However, tight end is the Ravens' deepest offensive position, featuring Mark Andrews, who made the Pro Bowl last year, and Nick Boyle, who is among the NFL's best blocking tight ends and a reliable receiver. The Falcons needed a tight end after losing Austin Hooper to the Cleveland Browns in free agency.
Moving to Atlanta will give Hurst an opportunity for more targets and playing time.
Hurst's two-year tenure in Baltimore was the shortest of any first-round pick in Ravens history, but not because he struggled. After an excellent start to training camp as a rookie, Hurst suffered a foot stress fracture in August of 2018 that required surgery, forcing him to miss the first four games. He finished with 13 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown as a rookie.
In his second season, Hurst returned stronger and healthier after bulking up and having screws removed from his foot. His numbers increased to 30 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns. His 61-yard touchdown in Buffalo last season was a turning point in the game and for him, and it was also the fastest recorded speed of any Ravens player last season.
However, Andrews (64 catches, 852 yards 10 touchdowns) blossomed into a star while Boyle (31 catches, 321 yards, two touchdowns) had his best overall season. While Hurst looks ready to break out, it would have been tough for him to do so fully in Baltimore.
A major league pitching prospect before turning to football, the 26-year-old Hurst was an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness while with the Ravens and he spoke candidly last month about attempting suicide while he was in college. He has used his platform to help others suffering from depression through the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation, speaking to kids in Maryland and in his native Jacksonville, Fla.
Andrews, Hurst, and Boyle became extremely close off the field, calling themselves "the three-headed monster." Now Hurst will have a fresh start in Atlanta, while the Ravens have added to their draft capital.
The fourth-round pick that the Ravens traded to Atlanta is the 134th pick overall. Baltimore now has three picks in the top 60 in a draft that is considered deep at edge rusher and wide receiver, two positions where Baltimore is looking to upgrade.