3. Hayden Hurst
When C.J Uzomah left for the Jets, fans like myself watched the free agency wire to see which tight ends were left that could fill his shoes. The coaching staff did not disappoint when they signed Hayden Hurst to a one-year deal.
According to James Rapien of All Bengals, head coach Zac Taylor said he has “high expectations” for Hurst. The South Carolina product is gearing up to play in his third system in six years, but Taylor claimed the tight end quickly grasped his squad’s offense during spring practices.
Since being chosen in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, Hurst has had to share the spotlight with pretty good tight ends such as Mark Andrews, and Kyle Pitts. Here in Cincinnati, it is a win-win for both sides. Hurst finally has a chance to prove what he can do, and for the Bengals, it gives Burrow another weapon.
With opposing teams playing more two-high safeties to take away Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins’ enormous play potential, Joe Burrow will lean on Hurst even more. Whether completing third downs or being a threat in the red zone, Hurst has the talent to make an impact for the Stripes right away.
Hurst does a few things going his way headed into the season. Having no competition for the starting job and a chance to be targeted by Burrow quite often could lead to the breakout year that Hurst has been looking for in his career.