Carolina Panthers TE Hayden Hurst slighted
When the Carolina Panthers picked up Hayden Hurst in free agency, it instantly came with the hope that he could finally provide the tight-end unit with some pass-catching consistency not seen since the days of Greg Olsen. Frank Reich and Thomas Brown's scheme is also extremely friendly to the position, which should make things easier for rookie quarterback Bryce Young during his pivotal transition.
Despite Hurst being a consistent performer for the Cincinnati Bengals last season, the former South Carolina star wasn't named in Jeremy Fowler of ESPN's list of best players at the position. Something that clearly riled Schuyler Callihan from Sports Illustrated based on his retort to the feature.
"In a recent poll conducted by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, coaches, executives, and scouts did not rank Hayden Hurst among the top 10 tight ends in the NFL. Furthermore, Hurst was left off the honorable mentions list AND the section of "others receiving votes" which has Josh Oliver of Ravens, who caught just 14 passes a year ago. I'm not sure how this happens, especially considering the fact that Hurst was one of Joe Burrow's favorite targets this past season aside from his No. 1 guy, Ja'Marr Chase. Hurst caught 52 passes (14th among all tight ends) for 414 yards (23rd among all tight ends) and two touchdowns."- Schuyler Callihan, Sports Illustrated
Hurst might suffer from not being the flashiest tight end around, but he does everything well and gets the job done. Something the Panthers can depend upon fully as they seek major offensive improvements next season.