Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst was considered a possible first-round pick before an irregular heartbeat was detected during a medical exam at the NFL Scouting Combine and questions about whether he’ll be able to have a long career in the NFL helped push him to the Raiders in the fifth round.
While he might not like where he wound up being drafted, Hurst likes the landing spot. He said that watched a lot of film of Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins while at Michigan and is excited to have a chance at filling a similar three-technique role with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who previously held the same job in Cincinnati.
“It definitely gets me amped up,” Hurst said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “The Bengals, their best player was their three technique. That’s the focal point of their defense, and that’s what coach Guenther is used to getting, and what he has got his whole time in the NFL [with Atkins]. He drafted Geno, and it says something for him drafting me and P.J. [Hall, a second-round pick this year]. I think he expects a lot from us and expects us to fill that role he had with the Bengals.”
Expecting Atkins-esque production from any rookie would be a mistake, but immediate positive impact of any kind from Hurst would be a good development for both the Oakland defense and Hurst’s chances of putting those health concerns behind him for good.