Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 320 lbs.
College: North Carolina
Experience: 4th season
Draft Status: 2014 UDFA
Hurst signed a one year contract with the Ravens this offseason with a base salary of $700,000, a signing bonus of $250,000, and a roster bonus of $250,000 that is split into $15,625 per game he is active, according to Spotrac. He will only count $250,000 against the roster if he is released before the season.
James Hurst is infamous for being the Ravens player who was pushed into Flacco causing the “Great Knee Injury of 2015”. Ultimately this netted the Ravens the number six overall pick and Ronnie Stanley so I should not hold a grudge, but I do. James Hurst in unequivocally my least favourite Raven, known to many as James Wurst.
Hurst has started a total of 16 games in his NFL career. Five in his rookie season, eight the following season, and three last season. He has consistently been substandard for a starting NFL player bordering on woeful for the majority of his career. Hurst was the first NFL rookie to ever start a playoff game at LT, which says more about the Ravens of 2014 than it does Hurst’s footballing ability.
As a result of the purge of offensive line talent this offseason Hurst has been thrust into the first team. He has the difficult job of trying to replace the departed Ricky Wagner. This is a situation I have been monitoring precariously. Hurst did benefit from the injury to Nico Siragusa (no relation to Tony) meaning Alex Lewis will be needed at LG all season. Hopefully the Raven’s signing of Austin Howard will mean that Hurst will not be needed in a meaningful role this season. This will be an interesting battle to watch throughout training camp.
While I give James Hurst a hard time he has been impressive so far this offseason according to sources close to the team. Hurst has been working very hard in the weight room, gaining about 15 pounds this offseason. That extra strength is something he has been lacking thus far in his career. Hopefully with a full offseason with the first team he will be able to improve and become a solid role player in the offense. If his role is to play swing tackle as the sixth or seventh offensive linemen on game day then I will be happy, but if he is thrust into any sort of starting position I will be convinced that Ray Lewis made a deal with the Devil for the 2012 Super Bowl run. I may never forgive Hurst for “The Great Knee Injury of 2015”, but a solid season protecting Joe Flacco will go a long way to gaining back my trust.