Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
We knew the Oakland Raiders were going to go defense in the draft and boy did they make a splash by selecting P.J Hall, Arden Key, and Maurice Hurst. P.J Hall is a big interior defensive lineman (310LBS) but he’s exceptionally quick for someone of that size. That clearly stood out to the front office which is why the Raiders decided to take Hall in the 2nd round. The former Sam Houston State defender will be asked to come in and make an impact immediately. So much of Oakland’s success upfront will depend on it. General Manager Reggie McKenzie also selected Arden Key and Maurice Hurst which will bolster the defensive front even further. Arden Key is an exceptional talent when he is playing up to his abilities. We’re talking about an edge rusher who can easily blow by offensive tackles and stir up plays in the offensive backfield. If Key can keep his head on straight and avoid any off the field distractions this pick will end up being a steal for the Raiders. The final piece to the puzzle might actually be the best. That player is Maurice Hurst out of the University of Michigan. Hurst fell all the way to the fifth round after a heart condition red flagged him throughout the pre-draft process. Maurice Hurst very well might have been a 1st rounder if those health problems didn’t arise. So when you look at all of these key additions it’s apparent that the Raiders just got a whole lot better in the trenches. By employing three players who can limit both the running game and the passing attacking it’s clear Oakland wants to do everything they can to keep points off the board. Ultimately that will open the door for players like Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin to play their best football. It’s a great plan and it will serve this team well this season.
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