The New England Patriots desperately need tight end depth, and they may turn to an AFC rival to acquire it.
The Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars both are "exploring" a trade for Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst ahead of the NFL Draft, the Florida Times-Union's Eugene Frenette reported Monday.
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Patriots, Jaguars exploring pre-draft trade for @Ravens TE Hayden Hurst, but whether it happens will depend on what draft capital teams r willing to part with. Hurst, who Jags we're going to draft in 2018 ,told me 2 months ago he wants opportunity to catch more passes. Stay tuned— Eugene Frenette (@GeneFrenette) February 24, 2020
Hurst, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, caught 30 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns last season in Baltimore, which are decent stats considering he competed with Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle for targets at a crowded position.
The 26-year-old also is a strong athlete, spending two seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league organization out of high school before turning to football and attending South Carolina.
Hurst is under team control through 2021 and is set to make just over $3 million in 2020.
The Patriots have a wealth of 2020 draft picks in their arsenal, so a trade for Hurst certainly seems feasible if they don't covet any tight end prospects in the draft.
New England has incentive to get a deal done quickly, however, as Tom Brady becomes a free agent March 18.