There was never any football reason to doubt Maurice Hurst‘s ability to disrupt the opposing passing game. That's why the Oakland Raiders got the steal of the 2018 NFL Draft when they swooped him up from freefall early in the fifth round.
An almost sure-bet first-round talent, Hurst's pass-rushing skill set was put on display for all to see during his time at the University of Michigan. In his three years as a starter in Ann Arbour (2015-17), Hurst earned single-season pass-rushing grades of 89.7, 90.3 and 91.0, respectively, making him the only interior defender in the nation to record three consecutive 88.0-plus pass-rush grades. In fact, he was the only interior defender in the nation to record more than one such grade.
Bowing out of college football with 113 total pressures (second among interior defenders), a four-year pass-rush grade of 92.8 (first), a four-year pass-rush win rate of 16.0% (third) and a four-year pass-rushing productivity of 9.1 (second), Hurst not only entered the 2018 NFL Draft as the highest-ranked interior defender but the third-highest player on our big board. And while a heart condition may have caused him to slip down draft boards last April, it's not stopped him from making an early impact in the Bay Area.
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