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Chargers 90-in-90: WR John Hurst

From DII to the NFL, can Hurst carve out a role for himself on special teams?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

John Hurst was born and raised in Milton Georgia where he attended nearby Cambridge High School. He earned All-North Fulton honors as a senior after hauling in 63 passes for 834 yards and six touchdowns.

Deciding to stay close to his family, Hurst committed to play at Division II West Georgia where he sat out his first year with a redshirt. Over the next four seasons, he caught just 77 passes for 1,242 yards and 12 touchdowns through 35 career games. He earned All-Gulf South Conference honors after recording 40 catches for 654 yards and seven scores as a senior. Following his time with the Wolves, hurst was named to the university’s All-Decade Team of the 2010’s.

Hurst would go onto sign with the Buccaneers after failing to be selected in the 2020 draft. After impressing the coaching staff in camp, he was selected among the team’s final 53-man roster.

On September 7, an unfortunate injury landed Hurst on IR just before the regular season kicked off. He was eventually activated on October 19 but was waived soon after. Following a stint on the practice squad, he was later released on November 5.

On November 16, just 11 days later, Hurst was signed to the Chargers’ practice squad. Following the 2020 season, he was signed to a reserve/future contract.

Basic Info

Height: 6’2
Weight: 190
College: West Georgia
Experience: 1
Years with team: 1

Contract Status

“John Hurst signed a 2 year, $1,485,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $742,500. In 2021, Hurst will earn a base salary of $660,000, while carrying a cap hit of $660,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Despite being an undrafted player out of a DII school, Hurst made the initial roster of the Bucs at the start of 2020. An injury is the only thing that kept him from potentially being a special teams contributor for the eventual Super Bowl champs.

If the coaching staff over there liked him, and this new coaching staff sees the same thing in Hurst that they did, maybe the Bolts have found a trustworthy contributor in the third phase of the game.

The Bad

Early injuries to begin his career in the NFL is never a good thing. Right now, that’s likely the only reason he’s not still with the Bucs. This team is all too familiar with injuries and investing in another player with the potential to miss time will certainly scare fans and coaches, alike.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?

With a packed wide reciever room, there’s no shot Hurst makes the final 53-man roster unless he becomes a All-Pro special teams player by the end of training camp. Anthony Lynn and Co. signed him last year to be a contributor in that phase but it remains to be seen if he’s held in that same regard by the new coaching staff. Right now, I believe his ceiling is the practice squad and nothing more.