Tight End Hayden Hurst Throws Shade at Falcons’ New Mock Draft

Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst

Getty Matt Ryan #2 and Hayden Hurst #81 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate their touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Atlanta Falcons‘ insider and digital managing editor, Matthew Tabeek, released his final NFL mock draft for the team’s website.

Tabeek didn’t have the Falcons taking a quarterback, a defensive end, or offensive tackle, nope. Instead, he had the Falcons trading back with the Eagles to the No. 6 slot and drafting Florida tight end, Kyle Pitts.

His reasoning? Pitts is slated to be the best tight end in the 2021 draft class and considered to be a tight end that can change the direction of the franchise for years to come.

“A trade here with the Eagles allows Atlanta to still land a “generational talent” in Kyle Pitts and acquire picks to possibly move back up into the first to select another impact player,” Tabeek explains. “Imagine the 6-foot-6 Pitts – a touchdown scoring machine at Florida – in Arthur Smith’s offense with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Hayden Hurst. Remember, Pitts is not your average tight end.

“He’s more in the mold of a Travis Kelce or George Kittle – and any team would like an option like that. Pitts earned a 96.1 PFF receiving grade and posted 10 catches on targets 20-plus yards downfield last year. That’s only five behind DeVonta Smith on 11 less targets.”

There is just one problem. Falcons’ current tight end, Hayden Hurst, isn’t a fan of this mock draft.

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 Hayden Hurst Throws Shade at Tabeek’s Latest Mock Draft

The Falcons posted Tabeek’s mock on Twitter and one fan commented on it, “I’d bet my stimmy Hurst is a top 5-7 TE if utilized to his strengths. We don’t need Pitts, especially not at 4. Free Hayden!”

Hurst replied to the fan with a GIF that said “I am a peacock! You gotta let me fly!”

But, he didn’t stop there.

“Just use me!” – Hurst responded once more.

Hurst was traded from Baltimore to the Falcons during last year’s free agency. In his first season with Atlanta, Hurst caught 56 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns.

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Falcons Trade for Another TE This Offseason

Earlier this week the Falcons traded a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for tight end Lee Smith.

The 6-foot-6 and 265-pound veteran has played 10 seasons in the league already, six of them with the Bills and another four with the Oakland Raiders. In ten seasons, Smith has accumulated 64 catches for 458 yards and 10 touchdowns over his career.

Smith was a fifth-round (159th overall) draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots but was released as a part of final roster cuts.

During his first stint with Buffalo from 201 to 2014, Smith saw the field in 56 games with 18 starts, reeling in 20 catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2015, Smith signed with the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent. He played in 51 games and 32 starts in four seasons, tallying 36 catches for 248 yards and four touchdowns with a career-best three touchdown receptions in 2018. He also started a career-high 15 games in 2015.

And during with Buffalo from 2019-2020. Smith played in 26 games with seven starts and recorded eight catches for 66 yards and three touchdowns.

The Falcons now have a tight end duo of Hurst and Smith to use in Arthur Smiths’ offense. Hurst will be Ryan’s primary option, but Smith gives the veteran presence that Atlanta has been missing. As for Pitts? He’s just another guy in a hot-take mock draft.

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