Are you bored with the 100000th, “do the Raiders take White, Cooper or Williams” post? Me too.
Now let’s look outside the box at the later rounds, and the players that I like to possibly help the Oakland Raiders quickly. The emphasis on wide receiver and defensive end positions are up first.
Devin Smith, WR Ohio St. (round 2)
I LOVE Devin Smith and he was born to be a Raider. he has a little swagger to his game and he backs it up. The knock on him is that he’s a little short at 6′ 0″. He has amazing football speed and this guy is a big playmaker who played his best games in the biggest games.
Some of the NFL sites actually have a video of his Michigan St. game highlights which should be a teaching video on how to play college WR. Huge blocks on clutch running plays; over the shoulder catches on third downs and taking hits over the middle. He’s ultra fast with NFL speed. He has that rare talent like Cliff Branch did of not losing speed when he makes cuts.
Rumors in Boston have the Patriots drooling over him and they are thinking of taking him in the first round. If not he should be there for the Raiders for an early 2nd round pick. Leonard Williams and Smith would be an amazing start to the draft.
He reminds me a lot of ex Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith, but he’s bigger. Tough as nails, and a skilled playmaker willing to do anything to win.
Jaelen Strong, WR Arizona St. (Round 1)
This is a well known name for most and if the Raiders trade down; which I doubt they will because they never do; this would be a great pick. Strong has stud pro player written all over him. Some think he’s the best WR in the draft. I don’t think he’ll be a Raider.
Chris Conley, WR Georgia (Round 4)
A speedster who is a freakish athlete. He’s 6′ 2″ 210 and some feel he needs to add a little bulk and strength. He’s a playmaker that may be a better pro than college player.
Tre McBride, WR William & Mary (Round 3)
I saw many announcers compare him to Pierre Garcon. He’s got amazing instinct and football savvy and rarely makes mistakes. He plays best under pressure and he is a very smart player. He always got the first down when they needed one. I saw him twice and he was obviously the best player on the field. Fast enough for the pro’s but not a track star. Teams really like him.
Darren Waller, WR Georgia Tech (4-5 round)
Waller is huge at 6′ 5″ 240 pounds and is a great athlete who ran a 4.45 40 yard dash. The knock on him is no one knows how good he is. Georgia Tech runs the flexbone offense which is a lot like the wishbone; thus they rarely pass. When they did though, Waller thrived. He could be the steal of the draft.
Marcus Hardison, DT Arizona St. (3rd round)
I LOVE watching this guy play. He was everywhere. He’s a late bloomer and has been soaring up the ladder in the draft. His numbers last year were ridiculous; 53 tackles, 15 tackles for losses and 10 sacks with 6 forced turnovers. No one in college had those numbers.
He’s big; 6′ 3″ and 310 but he’s quick as a cat. He’s not as strong as his size though and that is the knock on him. If the Raiders reached and took him in the second round I would still call it a good pick. I think this guys best football is ahead of him and he is just scratching the surface as an inside rusher.
Alvin Dupree, DE Kentucky (1-2nd Round)
If you follow college football, you know how good this guy is. Playing in the SEC he still stood out and is a great edge pass rusher that will be better in the pro’s. Kentucky often asked him to drop back in coverage due to the Wildcats bad defense, at 6′ 4″ and 270 lb. and he even did that well.
He’s savvy, and has many different moves. The only knock on him is that he needs to get a little stronger. I think #4 may be too early to take him and he won’t last into the 2nd round so the Raiders may not get the chance to take him.
Danielle Hunter, DE LSU (2nd round)
Danielle Hunter will be a massive hit or a big miss in my opinion. Is he an NFL combine warrior or a football player. He is another freakish athlete who wreaked havoc in the SEC with his edge pass rushing skills. He’s long and lean and will have to put on a little weight.
He’s raw but has all the skills to make it as a 3 down defensive end. He caused many hurries and had 14 tackles for losses his last year and played the run very well. His sack numbers are not high but most feel it’s because of the double teams. They also look at the hurries and high tackles for losses. If this guy gets good teaching, he could be special. Reminds me of Jason Pierre-Paul. Will he be Mario Williams, or Vernon Gholston.
Henry Anderson, DL/DE Stanford (3-4th round)
A tall player at 6′ 6″ and 295 pounds, who has good strength and speed as a pass rusher. He has solid technique as well. The knock on him is that he’s not a freakish athlete like some of the other DE’s but he’s a sleeper. Look for him to do well in the pro’s as do many of the lineman at Stanford.
Tevon Coleman, RB Indiana (2nd round)
If the Raiders do draft a running back; which I don’t think they will early on; Coleman would be a stud. He ran for 2000 yards last year and had an amazing 7.5 yards per carry average. He was the Hoosiers offense. Reminds some of Demarco Murray.
David Cobb, RB Minnesota (3-4th Round)
Cobb is the clone of Marion Barber. Physical, tough, and a good finisher. He’s fast enough to make long runs but isn’t a burner. He was made for the NFL power running game.
Blake Bell, TE Oklahoma (4-5th round)
At Oklahoma, Blake Bell was known for his famous quarterback power runs called the Belldozer. He played quarterback for 2 years but switched to tight end his senior year knowing he couldn’t make it in the NFL as a QB. He’s huge; 6′ 6″ 250 pounds; and is very physical. He’s a good blocker and has great instinct and good hands. The knock on him is he doesn’t have much experience at tight end but look for his stock to rise.
TCU OT Tayo Fabuluje, G/T TCU (6-7th round)
Try saying this name kids. He is massive; 6′ 6″ 365 pounds. Tayo was born in Nigeria and moved to Texas in high school. He’s only played football in college for two years but wow, was he good at TCU. He demolished people blocking in the run game but needs polish in the passing game.
He’s still raw. The bad rap on him is his lack of experience, weight fluctuations and transferring schools in college 3 times. He is a project that may pay huge dividends for a patient team.
Andrew Donnal, T Iowa (4-6th round)
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is one of the most popular people with NFL teams and coaches. No one does a better job at teaching offensive line technique than Ferentz and his coaching staff. Donnal played in the shadow of probable top 10 pick, Tackle Brandon Scherff.
He’s not a great athlete but he is a sound tactician who has good size. He did not give up a sack his senior season as a starter. Some teams frowned on him because he was not as strong as he should be but he’s worked on that and improved his weight lifting numbers in the NFL combines and looks stronger. Some want more athleticism but others are very high on Donnal being a pro starter thus the difference in draft position.
Players I’m NOT Into:
Randy Gregory, DE Nebraska (1st Round)
In last years preview I stated how Jadeveon Clowney would not be the second coming everyone thought he’d be. Injuries again happened to him but I still think he’s never going to be a great player in the pro’s. Teams in college realized that if you run right at him, he would stand up and struggle. I think the same about Randy Gregory.
Forget the pot conviction, I’m talking football. In the last 3 games he played for the Cornhuskers, the defense gave up an unreal 1058 yards rushing; again, that’s just in 3 games! Wisconsin alone ran for 583 yards and had two plays; run off left tackle and run off right tackle. Guess who one of these ends was that they ran through. Gregory is a freakish athlete that the NFL combines LOVE but against the run he’s atrocious at times because he stands up so often. He’s very raw and is a project.
Jameis Winston, QB Florida St. (1st Round)
Winston is a winner for sure but he also plays in a bad conference. One thing the scouts don’t talk about is that Florida St. and Winston struggled a lot last year. If teams took away the run, Winston had problems moving the team when they had to pass. I think Winston is better made for the pro’s because of his accuracy but his immaturity and arrogance at times is a bit much. I’d be afraid of putting my billion dollar corporation in the hands of such a guy. He may be alright but I don’t see greatness in him.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE/OLB UCLA (1st/2nd round)
I admit, I’m a baby bear, go Bruins, all that rah rah stuff but I’m also honest. Owamagbe is a physical specimen but he’s also inconsistent. Some games he disappears and that isn’t what first round picks are supposed to do.
Brent Hurley, QB UCLA (3rd Round)
Another Bruin makes the list. He’s an athlete playing QB and he isn’t a pro quarterback. He’s uncomfortable in the pocket and has poor mechanics.