Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Maurice Hurst
Weight: 285 pounds
To their credit, Michigan used Hurst’s talents perfectly. Although Hurst can fall in love with using his speed advantage, he is well rounded. First, Hurst avoids a common mistake as a pass rusher. He does not rock backwards to get a great jump. Hurst will keep his body still, wasting no motion. Next, he uses quick, precise, jabs to swat blockers’ hands away from his torso. When a blocker does contact the body, Hurst handfights like a boxer. With either hand, he can discard hands. Once the hands are away, his speed wins.
Hurst’s bull rush is not the typical power move. Driving from the calves and thighs, he uses explosion instead of brute force during this technique. As a result, his timing of the snap must be precise. He needs to catch the lineman rising from his stance. More often than not, Hurst will mix in a bull rush as a way to disrupt. On the other hand, Hurst’s lack of size stymies his repertoire.
Hurst’s vision allows him to immediately eye the ballcarrier and anticipate which gap he will emerge from. If the back trails away, he quickly disengages and funnels towards to the running back. Furthermore, Hurst is relentless in his pursuit. Whether the play flows horizontal or downfield, he finds a way to get to the ball. Often, Hurst chases the ballcarrier down from behind. Motor is the most underused and lazy term to describe defenders. Yet, it fits Hurst.
Hurst’s speed needs to be measured in two ways. Initially, look at how he jumps off the snap. Hurst gets to the shoulder and penetrates faster than most defensive tackles. Following that, his explosion towards the quarterback will be a nightmare. In the NFL, defenders get two steps. Hurst’s two will result in many hits. Plus, he possesses the nimbleness to win on stunts. Most linemen cannot slide over to cover the opening. For example, the video highlights Hurst in action.
Granted, Hurst’s dynamic skills will get him into the first round. Meanwhile, he needs add strength. As he ages, Hurst will need to pack on 5-10 pounds on to his frame. If he does not lose any explosion, he will need power to deal with mammoth offensive linemen.
While many tackles use girth to shove or bump ballcarriers to the ground, Hurst remains different. He will drive through the target. Hurst brings leverage and superb lower body strength to halt any forward progress. If you imagine a spring uncoiling, that is Hurst in space. He breaks down like a linebacker, takes a crisp angle and finishes with authority.
Under Paul Guenther, the Raiders need the appropriate pieces to make the scheme succeed. In Cincinnati, the Bengals employed Geno Atkins. While Hurst has not accomplished anything near Atkins’ level, the similarities exist. For Khalil Mack, any interior push will grant him more single blocking opportunities. In subpackages, Hurst’s mobility allows him to play an end spot. In reality, drafting Hurst brings a 9-12 sack tackle to the Raiders.