Jun 12, 2018; Alameda, CA, USA: Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (73) during minicamp at the Raiders headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Lions will kick off their preseason against the Oakland Raiders on Friday night. The game will feature NFL debuts from two of the most dominant players in college football a season ago – former Michigan Wolverine Maurice Hurst and former Arkansas Razorback Frank Ragnow.
Despite falling to the fifth round in the NFL draft this April, Hurst brings an infusion of talent to the interior of the Raiders defensive line. Hurst posted an overall grade of 96.5 last season at Michigan. Not only was that the highest grade of any interior defensive lineman last season, but it was the highest grade of any interior defensive lineman since PFF started grading college football in 2014.
Hurst did it in both facets of the game – rushing the passer and defending the run. In 2017, he led all interior defensive linemen with 47 pressures on his 298 pass-rushing snaps. They weren’t simply quarterback hurries either: 21 of those 47 pressures resulted in a sack or the quarterback getting hit.
As the PFF NFL Draft Guide stated, “There isn’t another interior player that can come close to his production as a pass-rusher in college and everything on tape suggests it will translate…