Maurice Hurst Jr. missed Oakland’s season finale with Kansas City on Sunday, but the defensive tackle turned in a solid rookie year for the Raiders.
As NFL careers go, the 2018 season wasn’t bad for starters for Canton’s Maurice Hurst Jr.
It was pretty solid, in fact.
A fifth-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders out of the University of Michigan, Hurst finished the season with 31 tackles, a team-leading four sacks, three passes defensed and one forced fumble while appearing in 13 games at defensive tackle, starting 10.
The down side to Hurst’s rookie year (aside from his team’s woeful season) was the fact that the 6-foot-1, 295-pounder ended it on the sidelines, missing three of the Raiders’ last four games of the year with an ankle injury.
Hurst’s most productive game came on Nov. 18 when he was credited with five tackles and a sack in the Raiders’ 23-21 win over Arizona. He had four tackles, a sack, forced a fumble and broke up a pass in Oakland’s 45-42 win over Cleveland on Sept. 30 and four tackles and a sack in the Raiders’ 20-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 11.
A product of Xaverian High School, Hurst capped off a standout career at Michigan by earning consensus All-American and All-Big Ten first-team honors and the Bo Schembechler Award as the Wolverines’ most valuable player as a fifth-year senior with the team in 2017.
Once projected to be as high as a possible first-round pick, Hurst saw his stock in the April draft drop after he was sent home from the league’s scouting combine due to a heart condition.
The Raiders were willing to invest a Day 3 pick (140th overall) in Hurst, a move that could potentially pay dividends for them for years to come.