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NFL Draft prospect to know: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

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Could the big Michigan defensive tackle be an option for the Cowboys?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Blogging The Boys will begin taking a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. We’ll try to do this on a Friday night or Saturday morning so you can pay attention to that player in their next game if you should so choose. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys’ expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some of the elite members of the class.

As we get ready for week eight in the NFL, we continue to take a look at potential draft prospects for your Dallas Cowboys. In case you have missed any of this series, we have looked at two different edge rushers, one cornerback, one offensive lineman, one wide receiver, and one defensive tackle. As always, make sure to scroll to the bottom of erthis article so that you can catch up!

The Dallas Cowboys may have finally found a pass rush! The emergence of Demarcus Lawrence and the return of David Irving has suddenly created a fearsome pass-rushing duo on the defensive line for the Dallas Cowboys. Lawrence has been having a NFL Defensive Player of the Year-caliber season, while Irving has been dominant since returning from his four-game suspension to open the season. What about the rest of the defensive line, though?

Maliek Collins has the tools to grow into a formidable defensive lineman inside for the Cowboys. Collins has had a very solid first one-and-a-half seasons to begin is professional career. However, Collins cannot do it inside by himself. While Lawrence has been a beast off of the edge and the staff has used Irving at a different spots along the trenches, the Cowboys are certainly interested in bringing in another defensive tackle for Rod Marinelli’s 4-3 scheme.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, Mike Fish alluded to the fact that the Cowboys are talking about bringing in another interior defensive lineman.

What happens if they are not successful in trading for a starting caliber DT, though? Marcell Dareus and his big contract was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday afternoon, eliminating one potential target. The good news is that perhaps the team can address this need in the draft.

Maurice Hurst — defensive tackle, Michigan Wolverines

6-foot-2
280
Senior

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Maurice Hurst is one of the elite interior defensive linemen in all of college football. The Michigan Wolverines product played on defense featuring current Cowboys Taco Charlton and Jourdan Lewis a season ago, and Hurt has continued to play very well for Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor.

The big senior has been a force inside for one of the better defenses in the nation since defensive coordinator Don Brown arrived with the Wolverines prior to the 2016 season. But even before Brown began calling the defense, 73 was already developing into a quality defensive lineman for Michigan. He totaled 35 total tackles — 17 solo — to go along with 6.5 TFL’s and three sacks back in 2015.

In 2016, Hurst continued to emerge as one of the better linemen in the country. Hurst improved his solo tackle to 20, recorded double-digit tackles behind the line of scrimmage (11.5) and brought down the quarterback two more times than he did in the season prior. The Wolverines were in the National Championship discussion all season long, thanks to Hurst and that nasty defense.

So far this season, Hurst has continued to play very well for one of the better defenses in the game. He has already matched his solo tackle number in 2015, has brought down ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage seven times, and he has recorded 1.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position in Harbaugh and Brown’s defense.

Hurst has all of the tools to continue developing into an absolute force once he arrives in the NFL. His 6-foot-2, 280 pound frame would complement Maliek Collins inside for the Cowboys for years to come. If Dallas opts to go defensive line in the first round next April, Hurst would be a logical choice if he still on the board whenever Dallas makes their pick inside AT&T Stadium in the spring.

CBS Sports writer Chris Trapasso seems to think along the same lines:

13. Dallas Cowboys

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan. Hurst is the most complete penetrating defensive tackle in the 2018 draft class. While the Cowboys have seen DeMarcus Lawrence take an enormous step on the outside, and they still have Tyrone Crawford on the interior, they could use more talent on their defensive line.




What do you think about Hurst, BTB?

*Gifs from Aj I, Icemandaboss1, and Sky Designs on YouTube; stats from sports-reference.

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