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More furor from league scouts, coaches over Raiders ‘irresponsible’ selection of Maurice Hurst

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Unnamed scouts, executives, and coaches can be a great source to get the temperature of a draft and how certain teams performed in that draft. Those opinions have been trickling out this week. Yesterday, we published opinions from executives and scouts on most of the Raiders’ draft class. The reviews were somewhat mixed. The opinion on the selection of Maurice Hurst was not.

The opinion was that drafting Hurst was risky, with one scout calling it “scary.” That was kicked up a notch by scouts and a head coach who spoke with Matt Miller for his scouting notebook.

I spoke to over 10 scouts, coaches and executives regarding Hurst. One, in a heated rant, labeled the selection “irresponsible” by the Raiders because of Hurst’s heart condition (which hasn’t been publicly shared) and hoped the talented defender would “never put a f--king helmet on again in his life.”

That sentiment was echoed many times over, with one head coach adding, “Only the Raiders would draft a guy who could literally die on the field from a known condition.”

Miller added on Twitter:

It isn’t a big surprise that other teams would not be onboard with the selection of Hurst based solely on the fact that they all passed on him at least four times. The Raiders passed on him five times before trading up in the fifth to get him.

From the sounds of this, teams intended on passing him up altogether. Meanwhile the Raiders are playing it oddly cool, saying “he’s good” and they weren’t going to even ease him into things, just giving him yearly checks. Reggie McKenzie even joked that we could all use yearly checkups, then gesturing to the media “Some of you guys need to get that checked up a little more often. I’m not naming names” (laughing).

Clearly there are a lot of folks around the league who don’t think this is a laughing matter.

For what it’s worth, Hurst said he was cleared at Michigan and played four seasons for the Wolverines without issue. Later, after being dismissed from the scouting combine for a heart issue, he was cleared by Harvard medical to work out at the Michigan Pro Day.

I realize a lot of Raiders fans’ reaction will be to accuse these scouts, executives, and coaches of just being jealous or bitter and perhaps look forward to the day they can throw it in their faces. I don’t think they are bitter or jealous. If they were then they would have probably taken Hurst. Their concerns are genuine.

I hope the Raiders are right about this too. But not for their sake, for Hurst’s sake.