Even though his health was a major concern, the Oakland Raiders selected Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Hurst, one of the top prospects at his position for the NFL Draft, was sent home from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis when irregularities in his heart were detected, putting his future in jeopardy.
However, the 6-foot-2, 282-pound Hurst subsequently received medical clearance to resume playing football and was allowed to participate fully in Michigan’s Pro Day last month.
The Raiders hope their gamble pays off as they took Hurst No. 140th overall.
Hurst was listed as the third-best defensive tackle and No. 21 overall prospect in Rob Rang’s rankings by NFLDraftScout.com.
Hurst earned All-America honors and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection for the Wolverines last season after racking up 59 tackles, including 13 for loss, and 5.5 sacks.
“Mo is fine,” Michigan assistant coach Greg Mattison said earlier this month, per 247ports.com. “Michigan would never play him if there was a chance (something was wrong). Mo is fine. I think the NFL knows that now too.”
The Raiders also took a gamble earlier by taking former LSU defensive end Arden Key in the third round on Friday. Once projected as a first-round selection by Rang, Key’s stock dipped due to myriad issues, including a decline in production, injuries and, most notably, checking himself into rehab clinic to deal with a reported marijuana problem.