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Pro Football Focus lists Raiders DT Maurice Hurst among favorites to win NFL Defensive Rookie of The Year

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A fifth rounder winning DROY would be unprecedented

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NFL: Oakland Raiders Rookie Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The last player to win the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year that wasn’t selected in the first round was former Houston Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans in 2006. And he was still selected No. 33 overall.

In fact, just eight players have ever won the award that wasn’t a first round selection. The lowest award winner, Erik McMillian, was selected No. 63 overall by the New York Jets in 1988.

Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Maurice Hurst would pu himself in elite company by becoming the first fifth round pick to ever win the award. According to Pro Football Focus’s Sam Monson, Hurst is among the favorites to win DROY in 2018 and is ranked No. 4 on the list behind Roquan Smith, Derwin James and Leighton Vander Esch.

Assuming the heart provides no issues for Hurst, Monson had glowing things to say about the former Wolverine.

“If he does get on the field, there are few players that PFF expect to translate more successfully to the next level. Hurst was the best graded interior linemen we have seen since we started grading college, and he did it across multiple seasons. While his tape is not perfect, it is in that rarified air that has seen seamless college-to-pro transitions from the likes of Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett.”

The comparisons to Myles Garret and Joey Bosa should get Raider fans screaming with joy. If Hurst can immediately make a pro bowl caliber impact in Oakland, Khalil Mack might finally be on his way to the 30-sack season (let’s see him get to 20 first) he and Derek Carr always talk about.

A healthy Hurst as a DROY candidate would go a long way to stem the negative press surrounding Oakland’s draft selections.