6 free-agent defensive linemen the Vikings could sign in 2024

Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins
Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Free-Agent Defensive Lineman No. 6

Maurice Hurst

2023 Team: Cleveland Browns

Maurice Hurst is a good player who can’t seem to catch a break from the injury bug.

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive tackle began his career as a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft by the Oakland Raiders. He started 10 games as a rookie and had career-highs in sacks (4) and tackles (31).

Hurst spent 2019 with the Raiders and remained with the team when they moved to Las Vegas in 2020.

In 2021, Hurst was signed by the San Francisco 49ers only to suffer a calf injury and miss all but two games that year. Then, he suffered a torn bicep muscle in San Francisco's 2022 training camp and missed the entire season.

This past year, the Browns gave Hurst another opportunity and he spent 13 games as an effective part of the team's defensive line.

As a rotational piece in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme, Hurst had 22 tackles, four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hits, three pass deflections, and one interception.

Unfortunately, he went down with a pectoral injury and missed the final four games of the season.

PFF gave Hurst run-defense and pass-rush grades in the mid-70s, which aren't bad for a guy who didn’t start a game and missed time in 2023.

Because of his injury history, the Vikings could probably add Hurst for a relatively cheap price, as the Browns paid him just over $1 million in 2023.

Adding Hurst would be perfect for Minnesota as a depth piece for the defensive line next season. If he stays injury-free, Hurst could also become an inexpensive starter.