Detroit Lions: 4 free agent defenders to consider signing

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Detroit Lions
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Maurice Hurst should be on the Detroit Lions’ radar.

The former Michigan Wolverines product took a steep fall in the 2018 NFL Draft after a heart issue arose.  Maurice Hurst had been a first-round talent that wasn’t selected until the fifth round by the Los Vegas Raiders.

It comes as no surprise the Raiders were the team to take a flier on Hurst; head coach Jon Gruden has an eye for talent and had been likely salivating over Hurst’s athleticism and overall potential at the defensive tackle position.

Hurst hasn’t exactly lit it up with the Raiders beyond his rookie season. Still, he’s performed well beyond his fifth-round draft position turning into one of the more consistent Raider defenders over the past three seasons.

The nearly 26-year old tackle has recorded nine career sacks during his first three seasons while earning solid PFF grades each year.  Hurst was awarded a 70.1 overall mark as a rookie, followed by 73.1 and 77.9, respectfully.

In 2020, Hurst played just 277 total defensive snaps, primarily in sure-passing situations.  In 2019 he earned a pass-rush grade of 77.8, followed by 78.5 in ’20.  Hurst has completed 76 tackles along with 60 pressures and started 17 of the 40 games he’s appeared in during his three-year career.

This was one of the surprise cuts this Spring, with Hurst still having one year left on his cheap rookie deal.  Many wonder if there is something to be concerned about health-wise, I hope that’s not the case, but with COVID-19 raging throughout the World and Hurst having an underlying health issue, the notion can’t help but creep into one’s mind.

If the medical team clears the young man, he’d be an upgrade to Nick Williams in a rotational role, primarily rushing the passer on third down for the Detroit Lions.  He’s far too young and athletic to overlook, and Brad Holmes needs to consider signing Hurst.

Trending. Penei Sewell needs to be atop the draft board. light

Recently released defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is another interior lineman the Detroit Lions need to consider adding; a recent yet brief write-up can be seen here.