Oakland Raiders: 17 burning questions heading into the 2018 season

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Oakland Raiders
ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 01: Maurice Hurst #73 of the Michigan Wolverines rushes quarterback Alex Hornibrook #12 of the Wisconsin Badgers during the second quarter of the game at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Does Maurice Hurst start Week 1?

During the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, Maurice Hurst came into the event as one of the top rated defensive prospects in all of college football. However, a heart issue was detected during the combine, and that really made his draft stock take a huge hit.

By the time Hurst, who was projected to be a first rounder, was selected, it was not until the fifth round, when the Raiders went up to get him. He has been given a clean bill of health from both the doctors at Michigan, and Harvard, and the Raiders expect him to be ready to go in his rookie season with the Silver and Black.

Now the question is whether or not he is going to be a starter on the defensive line in Week 1, as the Raiders move into Guenther’s 4-3 scheme. He certainly has the skill set to do just that, and with Eddie Vanderdoes coming off an ACL, and Mario Edwards Jr. still a bit of a question mark, he has the opportunity to supplant both of those players.

Justin Ellis was re-signed for big money, and he will definitely be one of the starters along the defensive line in 2018. Hurst has drawn rave reviews from the coaching staff, and in an area that was a weakness in 2017, he would be a guy who could come right in and make an immediate impact on this defense in his first season in the league.