Help Me Understand Mo Hurst's Draft Ranking

Submitted by mvp on April 27th, 2018 at 8:49 AM

So, the first round is in the books.  3 DTs taken, and on ESPN's "best available" Mo is listed as the 5th best remaining DT available.  He won't even be the first Hurst drafted!

I know those rankings aren't gospel, but why is he ranked where he is?

As this site has pointed out many times, not only is he one of the highest rated players according to Pro Football Focus at his position, he's one of the highest rated players ever.

What's the disconnect?  Is the enlarged heart at play?  Something else?  Seems like his combination of size, power, first step, and proven experience would put him in first round territory.


Avon Barksdale

April 27th, 2018 at 9:04 AM ^

And to be clear it’s not really a given where he fits in? Is he a 4-3 DT? Because if so, he’s undersized. Is he a 3-4 DE? If so, he’s never played in a 3-4 and when he did play in a 3 man front he was the NT. He’s versatile and extremely valuable, but teams probably assessed his risk was worth it in round 2-3.


April 27th, 2018 at 10:19 AM ^

They also say as a predictor of future success, the less a player needs to change in regards to the role he plays in college, the safer the pick and more success that comes with it. Hurst is an outstanding player. A bit undersize and a position change is in order. Am I suprised he fell? Not in hindsight, but he will be picked early on day 2


April 27th, 2018 at 11:43 AM ^

What pick does Pro Football Focus have in the draft?  Teams are looking for positives.  Hurst has a lot questions about a variety of things.  We, as fans, are blind to those. 

PFF is not going to pay a dime to Hurst.  The people who are are concerned about those questions.

Maison Bleue

April 27th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

The title of the OP is "Help Me Understand Mo Hurst's Draft Ranking". The OP asked specifically about ESPN's "best available" rankings and ESPN doesn't have a pick in the draft either. 

Your response was about UM fan's personal investment in Mo and the lack thereof in NFL decision makers. I was giving you an example of another source that liked Mo's NFL outlook that also has no personal investment in him.

Draft decision makers for NFL teams have proven time and time again that they are more or less just as clueless as Mel Kiper or PFF even if they don't have a personal investment in a player.


April 27th, 2018 at 1:55 PM ^

Ok, sure... GMs are definitely NOT in the habit of risking first round draft choices if they believe there is a longterm health issue that may lead to a player leaving the sport.

Draft analysts have been discussing it at length recently - teams are shying away from Mo bc of the potential heart issue... the fact that he is undersized for the position is why he had been expected to fall back to the end of the first round anyway.

Craptain Crunch

April 27th, 2018 at 8:54 AM ^

The health issue really put a damper on him with teams. They aren't going to risk giving him the big bucks with that uncertainty. Mo will most likely be a steal for some team but he's going to have to show on the field that he deserves the big bucks. Let's hope he stays healthy and productive and ends up signing a 2nd contract worth boat loads of money in a few years and read articles about how other teams messed up by not drafting him early.


April 27th, 2018 at 8:57 AM ^

I almost added a similar thought to my original post.

But on the other hand, the incremental dollars matter in a sport where there is always the possibility of injury ending your career.  Getting as much as you can as soon as you can has to be a priority.

But, ideally, he has a long and successful career making 31 fanbases and GMs shake their heads!

814 East U

April 27th, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

There are so many good players that fall to round 2. The Lions got A'Shawn Robinson last year in round 2. I don't understand people/mocks having him go in round 3. Going in round 2 is not that crazy.

UM Griff

April 27th, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

NFL teams often suck at evaluating talent. Mo Hurst would be a great pick for any team - very underrated as pointed out by Herbstreit.


April 27th, 2018 at 9:02 AM ^

He’s undersized, had issues with better OL, and has a bad heart. His pro day wasn’t anything special. He was a great B1G DT, which is all that matters from a UM perspective. That’s not the same as being an elite pro prospect.


April 27th, 2018 at 9:29 PM ^

but I have great hearing...JUST said, 16 teams took Mo off their boards once the heart issue came up. Teams 'paying' kids millions so they can make billions...have too many options to choose from. Hey...your son isn't good enough to be a first round pick Mr./Mrs. __insert name here___ I hope he has that degree, and I wish him all the best in life. Yep it sucks, and Mo IS a stud while he played for UM. He might get a shot as a late round take a chance flier, or he may end up UFA, and make a practice squad... who knows. Pretty sure whatever happens with Mo, he will enjoy a good life and do good things. Football or not.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

April 27th, 2018 at 9:05 AM ^

He was the highest rated player in college football by the most objective ranking system - Pro Football Focus.  There is nothing emotional or 'homerish' about that assessment.  The heart arrhythmia plays a huge impact on his draft position, but will not likely impact his career.  GMs have to think about optics of things if something doesn't pan out on a first round pick, and everyone could point to the EKG as a missed red flag if for some reason he does not succeed.


April 27th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

I like their product.  But it's also fair to recognize what their product is.  Their ratings are derived by people who watch the games (as opposed to purely quantitative), and that does mean that opinion and potentially bias are part of the result.  One could definitely argue it is not the most "objective" ranking system out there.  The most objective would be purely quantitative, the numbers would be what they are. 

I'm not knocking Hurst in saying that.  He's a very good player, of course.  I'm just don't agree in using his Pro Football Focus rating in an argument "Hurst is being under-appreciated by the NFL teams drafting."

And the heart, of course.  You said "the heart arrhythmia will not likely impact his career."  That MIGHT be true but that's definitely not a known fact.  Unfortuantely for Hurst, it's an unknown.  And thus a risk.  NFL teams are always more cautious when risk is involved.  Nothing new there.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

April 27th, 2018 at 12:20 PM ^

That is a totally fair take on the heart condition. I think we both agree that that is the main reason that he is being under-valued. I can also agree that the PFF score is not the Bible, there is only one of those truly. However, the scoring is very comprehensive; judging every play using consistent criteria for all players. I challenge you to tell me about a rating system that is even close to that in its objective and comprehensive nature.  I'll wait for your response...


April 27th, 2018 at 1:16 PM ^

in-house rating methodologies.  And those are proprietary, of course.

Is that in-house stuff better than PFF's stuff?  Given I can't see it, I don't know.  Neither do you.  Not being snarky with that last comment, but I think that's true.

It's like baseball sabermetrics.  Baseball Prospectus is GREAT.  It's helped me in terms of how I think about baseball and think about the bad MLB team I root for (the Reds, ugh).  You also don't see any MLB teams that have an attitude of "well, we'll just rely on all of Baseball Prospectus' free stuff for our analytics and not have any in-house folk developing our own metrics."  And that's for a sport (baseball) that is significantly easier to quantify vs. football.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

April 27th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

You articulate your points really well, and I respect that. However, to think that these teams have the resources to scout every single play from every single draftable player in a fashion even close to as comprehensive as that of PFF is astonishingly lofty.  Ultimately, the EKG is the reason that he was not drafted in the first round. No doubt, teams will put more stock in their own analysis - why else would these people have jobs?  Regardless, PFF is a stand-alone without a nameable competitor.


April 27th, 2018 at 9:12 AM ^

Some teams have him off the board due to medicals. Others may have him off the board because he didn't meet the minimum DT size requirements (He's short, short arms and light).  Finally, his combine was good but not great for what was expected from a 1st round caliber prospect especially in agility testing. He's explosive but agility wise, a huge disappointment.

I know for a fact that a couple teams have him off the board or aren't fan of his. He's scheme specific because he needs to go to a 1 gap system as 3T which limits the number of teams that runs it. Yes, I realize that nickel defense is the base defense but the defensive philosophy doesn't change.


April 27th, 2018 at 9:26 AM ^

Is saying one of two things:

1) Our player personnel staff knows more about heart conditions than the multiple cardiologists who have examined him.


2) Our cardiologist says he is greatly imperiled by playing football, but we’re just going to sit on this information because it’s proprietary.

Reason 1 is idiotic and reason 2 is unethical.


April 27th, 2018 at 9:47 AM ^

Or they are just concerned and think if there is a similar player without that issue, thats a better pick for them.

Orrrr....they just are uncomfortable with the situation, no matter what the docs say.. Its a tough position for a team to be in, like the Chris Bosh situation with the Heat, and one many teams may like to avoid. 


April 27th, 2018 at 9:13 AM ^

No one can understand.

It's amazing how imperfect the draft process is, especially considering the stakes.

Is Josh Rosen right in his post draft comments, or is he destined to another Drew Henson? (Who I never imagined would not make it).

Malik McDowel? Charles Rogers? Tom Brady?

It's all terribly speculative.

I just wonder if the NFL will ever see robots on the field...