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2018 NFL Draft: Maurice Hurst scouting report, how he fits with Raiders

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The First-Team All-American should be an immediate starter on the Raiders defensive line.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Measurables

6’2”, 282 lbs

Stats

2017: 59 Tackles, 13 Tackles for Loss, 5.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble

2016: 33 Tackles, 11.5 Tackles for Loss, 5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble

Awards

2017 First-Team All-America

2017 First-Team All-Big Ten

2017 Recipient of the Bo Schembechler Team MVP award and Defensive Player of the Year

Four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree

Strengths

With one of the quickest initial get-offs in the 2018 NFL Draft, Maurice Hurst creates hell for opposing quarterbacks with his speed. He also wins with leverage as he will explode up from underneath offensive lineman.

Watching Michigan’s defense, number 73 stands out immediately for his hustle and high motor, he’s everywhere on the field. Hurst also uses his hands well to create space between him and blockers.

Weaknesses

At 6’2”, 282 lbs, Hurst is a smaller defensive tackle that will likely be limited as a 3-technique in a 4-3 defensive scheme. His biggest detriment on the field is his frame as when offensive lineman do square up with Hurst, the Michigan defensive tackle struggles to shed blocks.

In a similar fashion to Geno Atkins (6’1”, 302 lbs), he has to beat offensive lineman with his burst and leverage to truly be effective in the backfield. Hurst’s speed will help to compensate for his undersized frame in the NFL making it a weakness that isn’t severe.

The defensive tackle was held out of workouts at the NFL Combine due to a detected heart issue that was also identified while he was at Michigan. Dr. David Chao who spent 17 years as the San Diego Charger’s head physician believes the incident will not hold back Hurst’s career. Hurst was eventually cleared by Harvard and Michigan doctors to compete at Michigan’s pro day.

Verdict

Whereas Washington’s Vita Vea wins with sheer power, Maurice Hurst uses an outstanding combination of burst and leverage to penetrate backfields. Had it not been for heart concerns, Hurst was a top-ten talent in the 2018 NFL Draft.

He looks to follow the footsteps of Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins as the next great pass rushing defensive tackle.

Pro Comparison

Geno Atkins

Fit with Raiders

Paul Guenther was the defensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals during some of Geno Atkins’s best career years. He is expected to bring his 4-3 defense over to Oakland, and adding a player similar to Atkins would be ideal.

Barring health issues, Hurst will immediately become the Raiders starting 3-tech and joins Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin to create one of the better pass rushing defensive lines in the NFL. The Silver & Black have lacked a dominant interior defensive lineman for quite some time. Adding Hurst can help change that trend.

As for the medical concerns, Silver & Black Pride’s Levi Damien asked general manager Reggie McKenzie if the Raiders had any plans to ease Hurst into things to which he replied “No, not at all.” “The fact is, he does have a heart condition, but it is a situation where he’ll get checked every year,” McKenzie stated. “Right now, he’s good.”

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