Raiders end long wait for UM's Maurice Hurst in fifth round
After a long wait, Michigan’s Maurice Hurst finally heard his name called shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday when the Oakland Raiders traded up and used the fourth pick of the fifth round (140th overall) to take the former consensus AP first-team All-American.
Hurst, thought to be a first-round talent by most scouts, was not allowed to participate in the NFL Combine after doctors detected heart irregularities.
In late March, Hurst was cleared by cardiologists at Michigan and Harvard to resume football activities. But it has been widely reported that many teams dropped arguably the best defensive player in the Big Ten in 2017 off their draft boards.
Hurst told reporters on Saturday that he first learned of his heart condition when he arrived at Michigan in 2013.
“I don’t see it being a problem at all, which is the frustrating part,” Hurst said when admitting that he played through it in college and that “nothing’s changed (with his condition) since then. I’m cleared medically, but teams have their own opinion."
After going unselected through the third round on Friday, Hurst tweeted: “Been through adversity my whole life, just waiting for the right place to find me! This is my process.”
Acknowledging he lost millions of dollars due to his slide in the draft, Hurst joked that he’ll “probably have to” keep driving Uber like he did at Michigan.
“Just upset and disappointed in teams that decided not to pick me," he said. "But one got a great player for very little. So I’m very excited to be part of the Raiders organization.”
He added: “It’s tough just going into it thinking that you’re one of the top players in the draft and having good tape and everything like that. Just having to wait and see guys that you believe that you’re better than go ahead of you, I mean it’s tough. But I’m just happy to be in the right place and part of a great organization.”
When questioned on Friday if Hurst was on the Lions’ draft board, General Manager Bob Quinn refused to comment.
Hurst may not have been a perfect fit for the Lions, as new coach Matt Patricia is expected to instill a scheme using multiple fronts. Hurst is widely viewed as a prototypical 4-3 defensive tackle who wouldn’t fit the Lions' desire for versatility along the defensive line.
Hurst’s slide in the draft was stunning after months of being regarded as a near-certain first-round draft-pick.
Hurst was Pro Football Focus’ highest-ranked defensive end in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.