49ers agree to deals with Hurst, Key

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers have added two former Raiders defensive linemen by agreeing to contracts with defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and defensive end Arden Key.

Hurst and Key were waived by the Raiders last week, three years after being drafted by the team.

Hurst announced his deal on Twitter on Thursday, saying “49ers Let's Go To Work!! This defence is about to go crazy!! Time to eat!”

Hurst and Key add depth to an already strong defensive line in San Francisco that features 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa, 2020 first-round pick Javon Kinlaw, Arik Armstead, free agent acquisition Samson Ebukam and nose tackle D.J. Jones among others.

Niners defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has had success getting production out of players who had struggled in other systems and now has two more players to help mould .

The Raiders took Key with one of their two third-round picks in 2018 and used a fifth-round pick on Hurst in hopes that they would be fixtures on the line.

Hurst showed flashes but struggled to get consistent playing time. His eight sacks in three seasons rank second on the Raiders in that span and his pressure rate ranked 11th among defensive tackles with at least 10 pass rushes in 2020 and sixth in 2019, according to SportsInfo Solutions.

Hurst had a half-sack and 27 tackles in 11 games last season. He missed time with ankle and knee injuries, as well as one game on the COVID-19 list. He played only 25% of the defensive snaps last season.

Key had no sacks and 15 tackles in 14 games last season and never developed into the edge rusher the Raiders believed he could be. He had three sacks in 37 games.

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Josh Dubow, The Associated Press