Maurice Hurst, Jr. seemed set for first-round money until NFL scouts questioned his heart.
Not his relentless drive, mind you, but his literal beating heart. During combine physicals this spring, doctors discovered a heart condition during an irregular electrocardiogram (EKG). Hurst was promptly sent home as a precaution.
The long-projected first-rounder tumbled down draft boards until Oakland snagged him at the No. 140 pick in the fifth round. A frustrated Hurst relayed the following message on the phone to head coach Jon Gruden:
“This is going to be a great day for the Oakland Raiders.”
Four weeks into the NFL season, the early returns prove him right.
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The strip-sack of No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield sparked the Raiders to come back from down 14 to outlast the Cleveland Browns 45-42 in overtime.
Hurst continues to burst into opposing backfields, already garnering two sacks for the Silver and Black. He has seven total tackles and a pass deflection to go with several other pressures.
This puts him on pace for eight sacks as an interior lineman in his rookie season. For context, he had five sacks as a Wolverine in 2017. Pro Football Focus graded him at an All-Pro level for Sunday’s effort.
Maurice Hurst made an impact on Sunday! pic.twitter.com/XlPE4ASEUP— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 2, 2018
Hey, NFL. Maybe don’t question his heart.
In other alumni news, the list of injured Wolverines is growing by the week. As reported here, Denver tight end Jake Butt tore his ACL just weeks after recovering from a tear on his other knee.
Last Wednesday, the Cincinnati Bengals reported defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow also sustained an ACL tear, ending his 2018 campaign. NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport confirmed:
It is, in fact, a torn ACL. Glasgow is out for the season. A hit to DL depth. https://t.co/Qu8Q2gaDmg— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2018
It’s like there’s a new show called the Walking Wounded, and they’re only casting Wolverines. Here’s the other injured alums:
- Seattle Seahawks safety Delano Hill (hamstring), recently activated
- Seahawks receiver Amara Darboh (hip and clavicle), out for season
- Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Willie Henry (abdomen), out for another week
- Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan (ACL), out for season
- A pair of Michiganders frequently faced each other Sunday as Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham tussled with Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan.
While Graham didn’t record a sack, Lewan came away with good things to say.
Graham tallied four tackles with 1.5 for loss in a 26-23 defeat in Nashville.
- Dallas Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton made three tackles, including a TFL, in a last-minute 26-24 victory over the Detroit Lions.
His teammate Jourdan Lewis still barely sees the field. This is sparking continued trade rumors, as Jerry Jones and management are putting out feelers for their 2017 third-round pick.
- Seattle defensive end Frank Clark chipped in two tackles with one for loss, as the Seahawks topped the Arizona Cardinals 20-17 Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.
- Cleveland’s Jabrill Peppers produced exclusively on special teams Sunday, returning four kicks for 64 yards. He mustered one yard on a lone punt return.
- In the same game, Oakland cornerback Leon Hall had two solo tackles.
- In the game of the week between Minnesota and the Los Angeles Rams, a few of Brady Hoke’s former players contributed.
Vikings punter Matt Wile booted four punts for 159 yards (39.9 avg), and placed one inside the 20-yard line. He now ranks in the top-10 in the league in that category with eight.
Linebacker Ben Gedeon only played two snaps in order for Minnesota to deal with the up-tempo passing game led by Rams quarterback Jared Goff.
Rams defensive back Blake Countess, who transferred to Auburn for his senior season, returned two kicks for 53 yards (long of 27).
- Jarrod Wilson saw the field for the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-12 triumph over the New York Jets. The safety managed a single tackle.
- Last, but certainly not least, Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 38-7 beat down of the Miami Dolphins.
A week after a 16-point loss to the Lions, Brady came out firing against the previously undefeated Dolphins — owned by Michigan alumnus Stephen Ross.
He completed 23-of-35 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, though also two picks. Miami came into the game allowing only 17 points a game. Behind Brady, New England beat that mark by three touchdowns.