Surprising Third-Year Raiders Defender is Outplaying Aaron Donald in 2020 Season

David Kaestle
Maurice Hearst has gotten off to a great start in 2020.
Maurice Hearst has gotten off to a great start in 2020. / Jack Thomas/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders have gotten off to a mediocre 2-2 start to the 2020 season and their defense is currently giving up 30.0 points per game, which ranks No. 24 in the NFL. However, there has been at least one bright spot on their defense.

Third-year Raiders defensive lineman Maurice Hurst is currently the third-highest ranked interior defender in the NFL though Week 4, according to Pro Football Focus.

What's even more impressive is the company he's keeping. With a grade of 89.4, Hurst ranks ahead of Los Angles Rams star Aaron Donald (87.7), who many consider to be the best defensive player in the entire league.

Regardless of his ranking, anytime you are on the top of a list that includes Donald, Cameron Hayward and DeForest Buckner, you know you're doing something right.

Hurst's breakout 2020 campaign hit a bit of a roadblock this week, though, as he has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive for the virus.

Once he gets back on the field, it looks like Hurst will be a key piece in building this young Raiders defense for the future.

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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.