Michigan’s Maurice Hurst and other NFL prospects ready to ascend at next level

Posted: March 2, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL

U Michigan DT Maurice Hurst – Hurst looks an awful lot like current LA Ram and Beast/Thing/Half-God DT Aaron Donald. Hurst measures at 6’2″ and 282 lbs, Donald was 6’1″ and 285. Donald was an undersized but impressive riser who performed well at the combine. We haven’t seen Hurst at the combine as of my writing this, but the combine makes stars out of guys like Darrius Heyward-Bey and John Ross. Hurst acquired eleven and a half stops for a loss in 2017. Hurst played well against top big ten competition and will be a big time contributor in the NFL.

LSU RB Derrius Guice – Guice averaged five plus yards per carry in 2017 when playing hurt. Guice isn’t quite as stocky or as tall as other backs in the draft (Rashaad Penny, Saquon Barkley) but should be ready for big-boy football after his one hundred plus yard/two touchdown performance against Notre Dame in a bowl game. Guice played admirably for at least two full seasons at LSU.

U Washington LB/DL Hercules Mata’afa – Mata’afa will need some help finding his niche in the NFL. He lined up at linebacker, defensive tackle, edge rusher at least at Washington. Mata’afa collected double digit sacks in 2017. Mata’afa likely projects best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense because of his size and apparent skill as a blitzer. Mata’afa has shown highly versatile effectiveness not unlike Adalius Thomas the former Raven swiss-army knife defender. Mata’afa had twenty-two and a half tackles for loss in 2017.

U. Texas DB Deshon Elliott – Elliott intercepted six passes and was a part of eight and a half stops for a loss. And he’s a 210 lb safety. Texas has a history of sending defensive backs to the NFL. His plus height at 6’2″ is becoming less of an advantage and more of a requirement as wide receivers and tight ends are seemingly getting bigger and stronger each season. Elliott’s shown he’s not afraid to get involved near the line of scrimmage but can still play the pass well. Elliott played for a team not named Alabama so he’s not high on many pre-draft rankings, but I see a defender who will start early in the NFL.

FSU WR Auden Tate – Auden Tate played on a pretty devastated Florida State team in 2017. Their ability to compete seemed to disappear as their QB went down with a season ending injury in the season opener. Tate caught forty passes for under six hundred yards. But ten of those passes went for touchdowns. That means one of every four passes caught by Auden Tate went for a touchdown. And that was with serious instability at the QB position. Tate’s a huge athlete at 6’5″ and played against elite defenses in the ACC during his career. Tate’s faced questions about his speed against NFL defensive backs. Regardless, he’s shown he can get open against top defenses in the end-zone.

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