The Las Vegas Raiders made two shocking moves on Thursday, releasing two veteran defensive linemen from the 2018 NFL draft.
The team announced that they have waived defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and defensive end Arden Key, who were both entering the final years of their rookie contracts.
Hurst was slated to be the team’s starting three-technique in 2021, but the Raiders did add several veteran defensive tackles. Since being drafted in 2018, Hurst has played 40 games for the Raiders, totaling eight sacks and 17 quarterback hits. When healthy, he is a viable pass rusher and an above-average run defender. He is still just 25 years old and should have a market in free agency.
Key has been a more disappointing player, recording just three sacks in 37 games for the Raiders. He was a third-round pick by the team in 2018 but has struggled to stay healthy and find a role on the defense. Still, he is a worthwhile rotational player and should garner some interest in the open market.
Both players are now subject to waivers and can be claimed on Friday. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.