Vanderdoes or Hurst?
In the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. The big fella worked his way into the starting lineup as a rookie last season, but saw his rookie campaign end with a torn ACL in the team’s Week 17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Incredibly, Vanderdoes appears to be ready for training camp, which is an amazing comeback from such a devastating injury, especially since it was his second. He is not going to just slide into a starting role in Paul Guenther’s 4-3 this summer, as the team brought in two defensive tackles via the NFL Draft this past April.
While P.J. Hall was selected in the second round, it is the player who was taken in the fifth round that could supplant Vanderdoes as a starter. Maurice Hurst has looked unbelievable since putting on the Silver and Black, and many believe he will be the guy next to Justin Ellis in the starting lineup when the season kicks off in September.
Hurst should have been a first round pick in April, but a heart condition caused him to seriously fall all the way to the fifth round. The Raiders traded up to get him, and based on the early returns, he is going to be one heck of a player at the NFL level.