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Maurice Hurst, Frank Ragnow set to square off in NFL preseason action

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.
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.
When Hurst wasn’t getting after the quarterback, he was stuffing the run.
That ranked eighth among interior defensive linemen with at least 200 run-defense snaps.
Ragnow, like Hurst, has made a name for himself by controlling the pass-rush and the run game on the interior of the trenches.
Once again, that ranked as the highest graded center by over 5.0 points.
Each of the last two seasons, only one center has recorded a run-blocking grade above 90.0.
That center is Ragnow with run-blocking grades of 93.9 in 2016 and 93.4 in 2017.
His presence should help boost a Lions’ offensive line that ranked 24th in team run-blocking grade and 17th in team pass-blocking grade.

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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…

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