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Key Raiders training camp matchups: Maurice Hurst vs Kelechi Osemele

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How the matchup of Maurice Hurst vs Kelechi Osemele in training camp affects the Oakland Raiders going forward

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

As any Oakland Raiders fan should know by now and I established a few articles ago, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is a huge 5th-round steal. He is just as dynamic in the running game as he is rushing the passer because he is so quick and explosive off the ball.

When rushing the passer, his explosion off the ball and quick hands often get to the quarterback before opposing guards get out of their stances. And even though he’s just 6’2”, 294 pounds, he wins in the run game because his get-off allows him to hit opposing offensive lineman first, giving him the advantage as it would in any conferentation. He also comes off the ball extremely low so he has a huge leverage advantage.

As a 3-technique, he’ll see guard Kelechi Osemele, an elite guard that’s good at run-blocking and pass-protection, who had a sub-par year last year. He’ll be looking to put that behind him, starting with a dominant camp. He’s little extra physical in games, sometimes body slamming opposing defensive lineman, so there’s no telling what he’ll do in camp.

Hurst will be looking to prove to his new teammates and coaches that he is as good as advertised. And of course, he’ll have the chip on his shoulder from being selected in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL draft when he knows he should have been picked in the top 10.

“Mo is looking real good, man. I’m really impressed with Mo. Definitely got a steal with him.” Osemele said to the media during minicamp. “He’s looking real good. He’s going to be good. If he just keeps going, the sky is the limit for that guy.”

But you know Osemele will try to get him when the pads come on!

In the running game, Osemele is as strong as a bull and will come off the ball trying to maul Hurst into submission as he is the bigger man. But Hurst will try to get off first to take the fight to Osemele and low to gain the leverage advantage, which usually wins in any sport.

In the passing game, Hurst has that quick get-off and pass-rush moves to get to the quarterback. But Osemele isn’t just an extremely strong individual, he has left tackle athleticism as he has played the position at a high level in spots over his career.

This matchup will not be easy for any one of them and in the heat of the summer, I predict there will be at least two fights between the two. Hurst will look to gain Osemele’s respect with the way he plays and by showing that he’s not a punk while Osemele tries to assert his dominance over the rookie and G him up if he can.

We know who Osemele is already so if this is a good battle, we will have reason to believe Hurst is everything we think he is. From there, it’s as many of you know to be one of my favorites quotes, “Iron sharpens iron.” And by the time training camp is over, both will be ready to dominate the opposition this season.