The Las Vegas Raiders released two defensive linemen on Thursday, one of them being defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.
When looking at the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason, they have certainly made some puzzling moves. The main target of confusion is the Raiders departing with the majority of their offensive line, a strength of the team. Raiders fans will continue to scratch their heads after hearing the latest news to hit social media on Thursday.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are waiving defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and defensive end Arden Key. The Raiders selected both linemen in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Raiders: Maurice Hurst, Arden Key released by Las Vegas
Entering the draft process, Hurst was deemed a potential first-round draft pick as one of the top defensive tackles in the class. However, a heart condition caused Hurst to fall down draft boards until the Raiders opted to select him in the fifth-round.
Through his three seasons with the Raiders, Hurst recorded 76 combined tackles (eight for loss), 17 quarterback hits, eight sacks, seven defended passes, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Key was selected in the third-round of the 2018 draft by the Raiders after he recorded 20 sacks in three years at LSU. The former Tigers edge rusher never lived up to the expectations by the Raiders to bolster their pass rush.
In three seasons, Key tallied 49 total tackles (eight for loss), 26 quarterback hits, three sacks and two defended passes through 37 games (10 starts).
While these waives (especially Hurst’s) come as a shock, the Raiders spent money in free agency to improve their pass rush. The team signed edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to a two-year, $26 million contract and defensive tackle and former San Francisco 49ers third-overall pick Solomon Thomas to a one-year, $3.3 million deal. Not to mention, Las Vegas could go defense-heavy in the NFL Draft in two weeks time.
Even though Hurst is waived, he may not have to wait to join a new team for long, as there are plenty of teams in need of a defensive tackle.