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Hayden Hurst: I’ve Never Seen Anything Like Julio Jones

Hayden Hurst knows how good Julio Jones is and plans to take full advantage of being his teammate.

The first-year Atlanta Falcon tight end is already asking Jones for advice.

“It’s fun to get to pick his brain,” Hurst said Tuesday during a Zoom press conference at the Falcons’ training camp facility. “The coolest thing about Julio — he’s obviously a superstar on the field, but he’s really humble, and he’ll talk to you, and he’ll tell you what he sees and how he sees the game and kind of give you some pointers.”

After being a 2018 first-round pick, Hurst played sparingly for two seasons as a Baltimore Raven. He showed potential, with 30 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns last year.

But quick flashes of what he might someday become doesn’t make him Julio Jones just yet.

“Every time I come back to the huddle, I look at him and I’m like, ‘Hey, what’d you think on that?’” Hurst said. “Or if we’re doing routes on air, I’m like, ‘Hey, what’d you see there?’

“I mean why not? Why wouldn’t you pick a Hall of Famer’s brain? It’s cool having a guy like that at our disposal.”

Jones has posted seven 1,000-yard-receiving campaigns in nine NFL seasons. At 31, he hasn’t given any warning signs of decline and will be the No. 1 target on an Atlanta offense full of talent. Earlier this offseason, Jones was voted the best receiver in the league by peers, coaches and league executives.

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“He’s just so explosive,” Hurst said. “In and out of his cuts, he’s shaking guys loose, creating separation. I’ve never seen anything like that.”


“You just have to go about your business like they’re there. Everyone has their own job to do. Mack and T.G. — those guys are professionals, and they’ve been doing this for a long time. They’re going to be ready to go. I think (head coach Dan Quinn) is doing a good job of taking care of them and understanding their bodies. Yeah, we don’t worry about guys like that. They’re professionals, and they’re going to get the job done.”


“I’ve been doing that since college really well. Did it in Baltimore a little bit. But I think that’s one of the things I’m going to do really well this year. It’s just the way I kind of move guys off the line and use my size and use my speed.”

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