Last weekend featured a handful of incredibly impressive numbers by NFL draft prospects across various positions. However, despite a lot of the flash, no player was more dominant than Michigan defensive lineman, Maurice Hurst.
Hurst, a senior defensive lineman for the Wolverines, played one of the most dominant games by a defender of the entire season. Despite Michigan’s loss to rival Michigan State, Hurst turned in an incredible performance wracking up 10 tackles, six of them solo and an incredible 3.5 tackles for a loss. This type of production from a defensive tackle is unheard of, yet Hurst came in and made it look routine.
The amazing thing about Hurst is that he has been productive his whole career at Michigan but only this year did he get recognized as a starter. Last year, as a rotational guy, Hurst picked up four and a half sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. That is incredibly impressive production on limited snaps and this season he is showing his potential in an expanded role.
At 6’2” and weighing just over 280 pounds, Hurst is a bit undersized for an NFL tackle. In order to quiet concerns about being a tweener at the next level; Hurst will need to continue dominating opponents the way he did on Saturday. Yet, if his hot start to the season is any indicator, it is going to be hard to overlook him come NFL draft time.
Other Performances of Note:
- Bradley Chubb, Edge Defender, NC State: After showing up as the featured player a few week ago, it is no surprise that Bradley Chubb keeps dominating college football. The senior edge defender was a one man wrecking team against Louisville; posting seven total pressures including a sack, had two tackles for a loss and blocked an extra point. As a college player, there is no defender in the country who is producing the way Bradley Chubb is and he is creating a lot of hype for himself in the process.
- Philip Lindsay, Running Back, Colorado: It is rare that a 280 rushing yard performance goes overshadowed but that is exactly what happened to Philip Lindsay. His productive day was outmatched by Arizona’s quarterback rushing for over 300 yards in the same game. Anyway, Lindsay was asked to carry the ball a whopping 41 times and delivered by averaging 6.9 yards per carry (nice) and scoring three touchdowns. He even chipped in three catches for 39 yards to bring his total yardage number over 300. The 5’8”, 190 pound senior is going to get knocked for his size in the draft process, but he is a tough runner with passing game savvy and he is having his best season yet.
- Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver, Memphis: Memphis is on a roll this season and in large part due to their star receiver, Anthony Miller. Last weekend, Miller caught 15 passes for 224 yards and an incredible four touchdowns in a blowout of Connecticut. Miller was too hard to cover and even when the defenders kept close, he was able to make tough grabs over them. Miller is another smaller guy from a small school, but his proclivity this year is going to get him noticed at some point.
- Harold Landry, Edge Defender, Boston College: Despite losing to Virginia Tech, no one is going to look to blame Boston College’s pass rush for their loss. Harold Landry sacked Josh Jackson three times to keep Boston College in the game. His best game of the season so far, the senior pass rusher is hoping to continue that sort of dominance so he can remain one of the top defensive prospects in the country.
- Kerryon Johnson, Running Back, Auburn: With Bo Jackson watching, Kerryon Johnson ran for over 200 yards and three touchdowns against Ole Miss at a rate of 7.3 yards per carry. The 6’0”, 215 pound back’s speed was just to much for the Rebels as he ran past them all day. Johnson is emerging as the lead back in a crowded backfield this season and the junior could finish the year as a legitimate NFL draft prospect given his size and speed.