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The Falcons wanted Hayden Hurst all along, according to Thomas Dimitroff

Atlanta’s General Manager claims he almost drafted Hayden Hurst in 2018.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Dimitroff made some rounds this past week and, among other things, talked up the addition of Hayden Hurst, whom the Falcons acquired along with a 2020 fourth-round draft selection in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft selection and a 2020 fifth-round draft selection shortly after the legal tampering period began.

Dimitroff is was full of praise when talking about Hurst, mentioning his speed and athleticism as valuable traits and making mention that the Falcons thought about drafting the former South Carolina tight end in the 2018 NFL Draft (despite already having Austin Hooper on the roster):

That draft selection ultimately wasn’t to be, however, as the Ravens snagged Hurst one pick before Atlanta was on the clock. The Falcons ended up selecting Calvin Ridley at 26, before the Ravens traded back into the first round to take Lamar Jackson at the tail end of the night.

Dimitroff is normally one to make PR rounds following a high-profile transaction and, if you were to believe everything he tells the fanbase, every single move the Falcons have made over the past few years has gone exactly according to his plan (like when he tried to spin cutting Matt Bryant to save money and then bringing him back for more money last year as exactly a part of his plan). His best laid plans must have had some defects given the team’s back to back 7-9 records in 2018 and 2019, however.

Hayden Hurst is one of the favorites on Atlanta’s team to have a breakout season given the change of scenery and increased role he’s expected to have in Matt Ryan’s offense in comparison to his role in Baltimore.

Hurst has recorded 43 receptions for 512 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns over the first two years of his NFL career thus far. It wouldn’t surprise me if he eclipsed all of those marks this year alone provided the additional looks he’ll get in Atlanta.