With the 140th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected Maurice Hurst Jr, defensive tackle out of the University of Michigan.
Hurst, 23, stands 6’2” and is currently registered at 291 pounds. The DT appeared in 41 games during his career as a Michigan Wolverine, totaling 130 tackles (67 solo), 32 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. In 2017, during his Senior campaign, Hurst registered 5.5 sacks in 13 games and was named a consensus All-American. On top of that, Hurst also registered the highest PFF score in all of college football, cementing himself as a first round talent.
Unfortunately, at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Hurst’s pre-existing heart condition (that he’d known about since his Freshman year at Michigan) was flagged and he was held out from competing. This led to his draft stock plummet, and reportedly was removed from a lot of teams’ draft boards.
While the Raiders obviously moved him down their own draft board, they didn’t remove him altogether, and decided to snag him in the fifth round.
So, what are some reasonable expectations for Hurst during his rookie campaign?
All in all, you can easily argue that Hurst is Oakland’s most talented draft choice, and will likely be the most impactful rookie on the field in 2018. Personally, I would expect him to earn the starting DT role next to Justin Ellis, even though Mario Edwards, Jr. seems to have the early nod in training camp.
The biggest thing with Hurst, as Ted Nguyen of The Athletic pointed out recently, is learning to combat double teams more effectively and consistently in the run game. However, facing such a talented O-Line (especially the interior) everyday in training camp should pay dividends for the talented Hurst.