The Las Vegas Raiders have decided that a few shining moments weren’t enough justification to keep Maurice Hurst Jr. for another season.
The revamping of the Raiders’ defensive line took another turn recently, as the team waived both Hurst and Arden Key. On one hand, their release helped trim the fat off the unit. However, Hurst’s release stirred different reactions among Raider Nation. It appears that the team could be making room for at least one rookie this month with the draft almost here. Is it possible that the Silver and Black’s brain trust is that confident in the state of their defensive line? More importantly, does it mean they’re willing to pass up on a pass rusher in the first round?
Say what you will about Key but Hurst showed promise in 2020, though you wouldn’t know it from his stat line. Diminishing snaps over the last couple of years surely didn’t help his cause. Nevertheless, Hurst accumulated 20 pressures over the last two yards along with five tackles for a loss. Additionally, Pro Football Focus graded Hurst’s exploits in the pass-rushing department at 78.5 last season.
Did the Raiders lose a lot by cutting Hurst?
Looking at Hurst’s release from an objective point of view, the team’s latest additions spelled the end for Hurst. Not only was Yannick Ngakoue signed but so were Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas. Also, Johnathan Hankins, David Irving, Maxx Crosby, and Clelin Ferrell were already in-house. Plus a potential rookie addition, that Raiders defensive line got crowded real quick.
More than anything, it appears Las Vegas lost a young and promising player that just didn’t quite live up to expectations. Whether it was due to injuries or a lack of faith by Jon Gruden’s coaching staff, you can be the judge. The only thing we know for certain is that Hurst isn’t in the Raiders’ long-term plans anymore.
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*Top Photo: AP Photo/Ron Schwane