NFL Hot Press: South Carolina TE Creating Buzz in Scouting Community

South Carolina TE Creating Buzz in Scouting Community

Updated Sept. 6, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

One wouldn’t think that  a Week 1 stat line of one reception for -2 yards would come from a player who is creating a real buzz in the scouting community, but that is what is happening with South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst. Even though the Gamecocks didn’t get him the ball in the season opener against N.C. State, Hurst has a lot of fans in the scouting community after impressing with his athletic skill set during fall camp and in tape study of the 2016 season. While he may not end up going in the top-32 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft, scouts from multiple teams tell me that Hurst has a first-round skill set. 

The main reason that Hurst might slip to the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft is he will be a 25-year old rookie in the NFL. Coming out of high school, Hurst was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he played minor league baseball prior to joining South Carolina in 2015. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder reportedly threw a fastball that exceeded 90 miles per hour. Last year, Hurst totaled 48 receptions for 616 yards with one touchdown for South Carolina. He caught eight passes for 106 yards in 2015.

Scouts rave about Hurst’s combination of size and speed. They say he can be a blocker as well as a dangerous receiver. They were raving about his body type and movement skills. They also say they believe that Hurst will skip his senior year to enter the 2018 NFL Draft because of his age. Sources at multiple teams think that Hurst has a first-round skill set and has a shot at going in Round 1 if he is given enough opportunities to produce, with a team looking past the age issue. Hurst could end up being the No. 1-rated tight end for the 2018 NFL Draft.