The way Jon Gruden and Maurice Hurst are talking, the Raiders didn’t pick five players and wait until day three before selecting him. After being flagged for a heart condition that had him dismissed from the combine, the top talent tumbled down draft boards, and dropped off some draft boards entirely.
Come day three, after the Raiders had taken cornerback Nick Nelson in the fourth, the Raiders traded up in the fifth to get the top draft talented defensive tackle. Gruden made the call to Hurst, telling him they had no doubts in him.
"This is going to be a great day for the Raiders."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) April 28, 2018
Jon Gruden calls a fired up @mohurstjr to let him know he's the newest member of the Silver & Black.#RaiderNation x #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/wKQH3vCzIq
Hurst was extremely excited when his draft weekend fall ended, tweeting like someone whose excitement was heightened by the sense of relief.
There is some mixed emotions there for the consensus All-American. It’s tainted by a lot of frustration at situation out of his control and for an issue that came up at Michigan, was cleared there and at Harvard, and never affected him in college, adding “I don’t see it being a problem at all.”
“It’s tough going into it thinking that you’re one of the top players in the draft,” said Hurst over conference call. “Just having good tape and everything like that. Just having to wait and see guys that you believe you are better than go ahead of you. It sucks.”
Gruden let Hurst know he wants him out at minicamp competing, which Hurst says he’s ready for.
“I’m ready to go right now,” Hurst continue. “Just show up to rookie minicamp just like everyone else and just go through things as anyone else would.”
“I had a good idea that my name was gonna be called. It was just a matter of where and when. So, yeah, I didn’t really think about going undrafted.”
What the Raiders get with taking him in the fifth is a salary that isn’t in the top 51 in case he doesn’t work out or in case something comes up that causes him to have to sit for a while. For now, let’s wait and see on the enthusiasm about him coming in full throttle at minicamp.