No. 3: 49ers defensive tackle Maurice Hurst
It’s quite a shame veteran defensive tackle Maurice Hurst dealt with a lingering calf injury for almost the entirety of 2021, a setback that limited him to just two regular-season games played over the course of the season.
Prior to that, Hurst was performing well in training camp and showed his value during the preseason, too.
A few things are working out in Hurst’s favor. For starters, nose tackle D.J. Jones is no longer with San Francisco, having joined the Denver Broncos as a free agent during the offseason. And the 49ers’ lone interior D-line pick of the draft, UCF’s Kalia Davis, is rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered last year and might have to redshirt his rookie season.
At the same time, though, the Niners are expecting their 2020 first-round pick, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, to return from knee surgery last season, and Kinlaw will get the bulk of first-team work. Additionally, reserve nose tackle Kevin Givens did plenty two seasons ago in relief of Jones to showcase his own value, too.
Like Justin Skule, Hurst will have to prove he’s fully recovered and healthy while fighting off other depth members on the D-line who’d love nothing more than to take his spot on the depth chart.