From now until the 2018 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a several others will be top-ranked players at their positions. If there is a player you would like us to breakdown and profile in the coming weeks and months, let us know in the comments below.
#73 Maurice Hurst/Michigan DT/DE – 6’2” 282 lbs.
–Quick first step off the snap.
–Powerful hands that knock blockers back.
–Plays equally well against the run and pass.
–Innate ability to “feel” where the ball is going
–Good closing speed
–Great at shooting gaps while using his natural quickness
–Very athletic for a man his size
–Smaller body for an interior lineman
–Doesn’t have a variety of ways to disengage
–More suited to be a three tech than a nose
–Big gambler who can put his team at risk
– Fifth year senior (didn’t play a snap as a freshman) and a three year letterman
– Consensus All-American (first team, Associated Press and Sporting News; second team, American Football Coaches Association [AFCA], Walter Camp and Football Writers Association of America [FWAA] – 2017)
– Contributed 134 tackles, 33.0 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two pass breakups, and one blocked field goal
– Pro Football Focus College All-American and All-Big Ten honoree, with the highest grade of any individual player at any position in the country (96.9 on a 100-point scale)
– Son of former New England Patriot cornerback Maurice Hurst, but raised only by his mother
– Currently pursuing his master’s degree from the School of Social Work in Management of Human Services, with a focus on Child/Youth Services
#73 lines up shading half of the center’s body. He gets a good jump off the snap, quickly slips past the center and guard (while knowing it was too quick). Hurst feels the screen, screaming towards the flat, then finds the back. The Wolverine hurdles a downed defender in his pursuit to make an athletic tackle downfield.
Hurst once again lines up on the outside shoulder of the center. The nose guard gets good penetration going underneath the offensive guard’s block while keeping his eyes on the quarterback. As the signal caller hands off the pigskin, the rabid Wolverine pounds the runner to the ground for a 3-yard loss.
The defensive tackle lines head up over the guard. Hurst stunts inside off the snap and is immediately picked up by the center. The Wolverine defender is now stood up, which takes away his power and leverage. This helps create an unchallenged running lane for a large gain by the quarterback.
The Wolverine defender lined up on the outside shoulder of the right guard and gets across the line quickly. #73 shoots his arms out which create separation and leverage against the Nittany Lion blocker. Hurst’s lack of vision and uncomplicated way of shedding blocks allows him to be taken out of the play.
While I enjoy the athleticism and gambling mentality of Maurice Hurst, the Steelers would not be a good fit while running their 3-4 front. He is too undersized and undisciplined, which would put the rest of the Pittsburgh front seven on tilt. #73 would be a better fit as a 3-tech on a 4-3 front, and could perhaps develop into a poor man’s Aaron Donald.
Projection: Top 50 pick
Games Watched: Ohio State, Penn State, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin
|Previous 2018 NFL Draft Player Profiles|
|Sam Darnold||Garret Dooley||Calvin Ridley||Fred Warner||Ronald Jones II|