Hurst, 26, hadn't lived up to the expectations of being a 2018 first-round pick after falling behind Mark Andrews on Baltimore's depth chart. Hurst caught 30 passes for 349 yards and 2 touchdowns last season and expressed a desire to go somewhere to become more of a focal point of the passing game.
Hurst, who becomes the first Ravens first-round pick to part ways with the team after two seasons, acknowledged the trade in a tweet.
Finally have a second to take a breath and soak this in. Thanks to the @ravens for brining me in and giving me a chance in the league. Baltimore was always great to me and I've got love for the city, always. This is what we sign up for ! Let's get to work @AtlantaFalcons #RiseUp— Hayden Hurst (@haydenrhurst) March 16, 2020
By dealing Hurst, the Ravens have stockpiled picks for the first two days of the draft, totaling five selections in the first three rounds. Baltimore still has depth at tight end with Andrews, who made his first Pro Bowl last season, and Nick Boyle, who is considered one of the top blocking tight ends in the game.
Hurst was the first tight end selected in the 2018 draft, taken No. 25 overall -- seven spots before Baltimore drafted quarterback Lamar Jackson. But Hurst missed the first four games of his rookie season after having surgery for a stress fracture in his foot and never clicked in the offense like Andrews did.
The Ravens are getting the No. 55 overall pick that the Falcons previously acquired from the New England Patriots. The fifth-round pick (No. 157 overall) acquired from the Falcons was used by Baltimore in Sunday's trade for Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell. Baltimore sent its fourth-round compensatory pick (143rd overall) in its deal with Atlanta.
The Ravens also released backup offensive tackle James Hurst, who is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy for performance-enhancing drugs. Earlier this offseason, Baltimore signed former Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick Andre Smith to bolster their depth at offensive tackle.
Hayden Hurst has become an advocate for mental health and said during the offseason that depression led him to a suicide attempt four years ago. He has spoken at high schools and colleges in Maryland and Florida, talking about the need for the younger generation to address their mental health.
In 2013, when he was a promising pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system, he went from throwing 97 mph to not being able to throw the ball straight. He had suddenly developed the "yips," performance anxiety that affected him so badly that pitches would sail over batters' heads.