Hooper made the Pro Bowl the last two seasons while catching 146 passes, which is 103 passes more than Hurst managed to catch over the same period of time. Some of that was due to the run-heavy nature of the Ravens offense with Lamar Jackson at quarterback and some was due to the fact that Hurst fell behind Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle in the tight end pecking order.
The Falcons have Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley at wide receiver in an offense heavy on first-round picks, but a look at Hooper’s numbers make it easy to understand why Hurst is feeling optimistic about what he can do in Atlanta.
“It’s going to be a perfect fit,” Hurst said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Koetter’s pass-heavy offense is going to suit me well. It’s going to allow me to do some things that I personally do well [like] stretch the field vertically and hopefully create some mismatches for the other guys, Julio and Calvin. I saw where they’ve picked up Laquon Treadwell as well. It’s a pretty potent offense. I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
Jaeden Graham and Carson Meier are the only other tight ends on the Falcons roster at the moment, which should increase Hurst’s opportunities to show that the offseason change at the top of the depth chart won’t mean a drop in productivity.