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Daniel Jeremiah sees a potentially bright future for Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.
The NFL Network analyst ranks Hurst at No. 21 in his top 50 NFL draft prospects, released Tuesday, writing that he “could emerge as one of the best interior pass rushers in the league.”
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Hurst was a consensus All-American, All-Big Ten and the team’s Most Valuable Player this past season, during which he registered 60 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. For his career, he had 132 tackles, including 33 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.
Hurst also was a four-time Academic All-American.
“Hurst is an undersized defensive tackle with exceptional quickness and awareness,” Jeremiah writes. “Against the pass, he has elite get-off. He explodes off the snap and has a collection of effective hand moves to generate pressure. His bread-and-butter move is a quick swipe before wrapping around the blocker and exploding toward the quarterback.
“Against the run, he relies on his quickness to beat cut-off blocks and disrupt. Occasionally, he’ll get stuck on blocks and is moved out of the hole. His effort is excellent.”
And, while Jeremiah’s list isn’t a mock draft, Hurst’s place in it is similar to mock drafts from ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., who has Hurst going at No. 22 to the Buffalo Bills in his first mock draft, while Justin Rogers of The Detroit News also has Hurst going to the Bills, at No. 21. The Bills pick at No. 22 is via a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Lions own the No. 20 pick in the NFL draft, which is April 26-28.