Sunday, January 3, 2016

Raider 1st Round: 2016

The Raiders will pick 14th Overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Finally, an upward trend.  Significant steps this season offensively, but can Musgrave and Carr get it together and push it to 10 wins?  We'll see.

Teams who picked 14th Overall in the past 10 drafts:

2015 - Miami Dolphins
2014 - Chicago Bears
2013 - Carolina Panthers
2012 - St. Louis Rams
2011 - St. Louis Rams
2010 - Seattle Seahawks
2009 - New Orleans Saints
2008 - Chicago Bears
2007 - New York Jets
2006 - Philadelphia Eagles

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Raider Draft Commentary

Well, it's that time of year again.  The Raider season is wrapping up with a game in Kansas City, one last sendoff for #24...a true Raider and a great man on and off the field.  The optimism is at a recent high with the Raiders snatching 7 victories thus far...including a handful of games they should've won.  Granted, the experience and the gel isn't quite there yet, but barring some off-season lax, the Raiders looked poised to seriously challenge for the 2016-2017 NFL Playoffs.  The wild card may be more difficult to secure than overtaking Denver or KC next season...we'll have to see how the offseasons go for all AFC West teams.

Rankings don't necessarily tell the whole story but let's look at some key stats that paint a picture of the Raider personnel as is:

Offense
Total Yards per Game - 342.1  (22nd Overall)
Points per Game - 22.8 (16th Overall - tied with Philadelphia)

What's a good trend is that Carr and Musgrave are getting the ball into the end zone at a better clip than their yardage rates.  Red zone offense, in this author's opinion, can't be understated.  The NFL is all about opportunity and cashing in on that opportunity.

Rushing Yards per Game - 93.9 (25th Overall - almost ALL Latavius Murray)
Passing Yards per Game - 248.1 (15th Overall)
Sacks Allowed - 27 (8th Overall)

Arizona, Seattle and the NY Jets are showing the most balance in the Top third of overall yards/game offense.  Proof that running the ball well still holds a strong meaning for a top offense.  All three of these teams are either playoff bound, or on the cusp of it.  New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and San Diego are examples of top passing attacks in the League...depending on the breakdowns, you can obviously get mixed results.

So where does this leave Oakland offensively come the 2016 NFL Draft?  It seems obvious, some help is needed in the run game to supplement a growing proficiency with Derek Carr.  Most notably the right side of the Raiders' Offensive Line could stand to use some upgrades.  Austin Howard going out the past couple of weeks has put a strain on the pass protection game...that and Carr's difficulty with throwing it away in some instances.  The right side of the offensive line should be bolstered in free agency or in the draft.  A counterpart to Gabe Jackson is desperately needed on the right side of Hudson, and a top LT talent...to work in at RT, get the sea legs...may be a Reggie-type move.  With top talents like Ole Miss' Tunsil and Notre Dame's Stanley -- expect the Raiders to be in the mix for mid-1st Round talents like Ohio State's Taylor Decker.  Tackle prospects like Conklin and Ifedi project better to the right side in my opinion, but the kid out of Indiana, Spriggs, could up his stake to Top 15 status with a strong Draft offseason.

Finding a true RG is tricky at times.  Switching from LG to RG is always difficult...let alone from Tackle to OG.  One guy that could fit the mold of a Day 2 RG prospect is Arkansas OG Sebastian Tretola.  He has that Raider build, is known for his power run blocking game...but also hasn't allowed a sack all year.  Should be mentioned that Tretola is also from San Bernardino, CA -- if the Raiders move to LA, should be a more seamless cultural fit off the bat.  Other southern strongholds at OG include Vadal Alexander from LSU and Landon Turner from North Carolina, both would be awesome in the 2nd Round.  Tretola would be a 3rd Round, possibly a fringe 4th Round talent....depending on his athleticism showings at the Combine and Pro Day.



Beyond the OL, you look at RB for the Raiders.  While Murray has certainly been consistent, and is one of the top rushers in the AFC...he's doing it because Oakland has literally had almost nobody else to hand the ball off to with any confidence.  Taiwan Jones?  Give me a break, for every highlight, you hold your breath hoping he doesn't fumble or start running backwards.  Roy Helu Jr. has been injured most of the season...leaving guys like Olawale to fill the gap...and fill it he did, earning a solid contract for the next 3 years.  The Raiders must supplement Murray's production with fresh legs from the draft or finding a solid FA who can work as a change of pace back in Musgrave's system.  I can't see Reggie taking the likes of say, Ezekiel Elliott, in the 1st Round...but who knows...Reggie watched Adrian Peterson run all over Green Bay during his time with the Packers...a legit RB talent can elevate an offense, and the Raiders certainly need more explosive plays in the run game.  Guy to think about in the mid-rounds at RB is Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon.














WR-wise, Carr could use more speed and shiftiness in the corps.  Cooper, Crabtree, long body Holmes, Walford, Rivera and the emerging Seth Roberts have provided for a very good season.  There's talk that Holmes may leave in free agency, in search of a bigger role in another offense.  This could lead Oakland to draft a replacement receiver with size if Holmes bolts.  For speed I like Pharoh Cooper and Sterling Shepard, but they're second round talents at this point...and with Coop and Crab as targets already, WR is much lower priority offensively.   Oregon's Bralon Addison could be an intriguing Day 3 selection should he declare.  Big body WRs like De'Runnya Wilson and now Cayleb Jones out of Arizona, could be solid players to develop.  What will the Raiders do with Streater?

Defense
Total Yards Given Up per Game - 365.3  (22nd Overall)
Rushing Yards Given Up per Game - 99.3 (9th Overall)
Passing Yards Given Up per Game - 266.0 (27th Overall)
Points Allowed per Game - 25.1 (21st Overall)
Sacks - 37 (tied for 12th Overall)
QB Hurries - 119 (2nd Overall)
Forced Fumbles - 14 -- 11 recovered (13th Overall)
INTs - 12 (tied for 15th Overall)

Norton Jr. and Del Rio have done a pretty good job at getting the Raiders after the QB.  Even with these numbers in sacks and hurries, the Raiders are giving up huge chunks in passing yardage.  So, either they're getting burned on the blitz...OR...the Raiders lack coverage.  With the downward trends of D.J. Hayden, Neiko Thorpe and Keith McGill it would behoove the Raiders to go after some secondary talent as early as possible.  Woodson is also retiring, leaving a big gap in the starting safety slots.  Nate Allen must return healthy, otherwise the Raiders should supplement Asante, Mays and McDonald.  Yup, without Allen/Woodson, that's who's back there...scary, isn't it.

Boise's Darian Thompson and LSU's Jalen Mills are early round free safety targets, while the physical Jayron Kearse, Vonn Bell and Jeremy Cash could all be early contributors at strong safety.  Given the Raiders stopping the run so well, they should focus on the back end in my opinion.





















At CB the big names in the middle of the 1st round include Hargreaves III (had a bad game vs. Michigan in the Bowl Game), Mackensie Alexander and Tre'Davious White.  By Day 2, names like Iowa's Desmond King, the injured-but-talented Kendall Fuller and Miami's Artie Burns could be picks.  Day 3 holds some unique talent, some with return skills.  Names include Georgia Tech's D.J. White, Minnesota's Eric Murray and 'Bama CB/KR/PR Cyrus Jones would add a dynamic to Oakland they currently lack.  Another Houston CB (Hayden-free hopefully), William Jackson III, a member of the 'JackBoyz' -- could be an option as well.  Houston recently spanked Florida State in the Peach Bowl -- picked off FSU QB Sean Maguire four times.













Getting past the secondary you look at the LB corps.  While Curtis Lofton is the established veteran, MLBs who can't cover don't belong in the League anymore.  Ben Heeney has shown solid skills as did Neiron Ball before being lost due to injury.  Malcolm Smith has been consistent and has shown a knack for the turnover.  Toomer and Lotulelei look like special teamers only...the Raiders need more depth at LB in my opinion, especially with Ball's injury history.

The Raiders could also look to upgrade their depth along the defensive line.  Dan Williams is a stud in the middle...coupled with Jelly Ellis, who has been in and out of the lineup, it looks set at nose guard, or the run stuffing, blocker eating DT position.  On passing downs, Mario Edwards Jr. was ripping it up inside.  Denico Autry came on strong at the end of the year as well.  That leaves guys like Shelby Harris and Benson Mayowa.  There is some room for an upgrade here.  Can't count on Tuck's presence on the field, who will be going on 33 next fall, but his leadership is obviously very valuable.  Names like Bullard, Jonathan Allen, the two Lawsons, Ogbah, Nassib and Calhoun all come to mind.


















To sum up, position-wise, the Raiders will be looking CB/FS early -- they need a new franchise player in the secondary, one to build around.  While Carrie and Amerson have been great this season, you need more talent back there.  After that, it feels like a couple spots on the Offensive Line will need to upgraded, particularly on the right side...possibly a LT prospect for the post-Penn era.  OLB/ILB also need depth...and mix in a little SS while you're at it.   BPA could fall in line for a WR somewhere after the 2nd Round.  Also expect the Raiders to draft a RB -- gut tells me Reggie will look for the best talent in the 4th Round or later.  Should a top 3 RB fall in the 2nd Rd...he might, just might, pull the trigger there.

Beat the Chiefs.

-Ag

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Reggie's Day 3

Raiders trade down for Panthers' 4th, 5th and 7th Rd. pick.

Raiders now loaded for the 5th and 7th Rounds.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

HC Search

The Indy @ Denver game on Sunday afternoon is going to be interesting.

Looks like Jack Del Rio is the prime candidate right now, but he can't be hired until Denver is done for the season.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reese's Senior Bowl Roster

The 2015 Senior Bowl rosters are rounding into form.  Below are the players who've accepted invitations and updates will be revised until the final rosters are announced.

For the Raiders, with 1 game against Denver remaining, it looks like they'll be selecting either 4th or 5th in the upcoming draft.  There are quite a few players that the Raiders would do well to draft in that range, most notably underclassmen pass rush help in Nebraska's Randy Gregory or Southern California's Leonard Williams.  Oakland should also be in the running for Alabama WR Amari Cooper.

There is a good amount of talent in this year's Senior group and its not yet certain if the Raiders will be active in the upcoming Senior Bowl week.  It is worth noting that 4 of last year's seniors who participated have all contributed this season (QB Derek Carr, OG Gabe Jackson, DT Justin Ellis, CB Keith McGill) with 3 of them looking like cornerstones for the franchise moving forward.  In 2013, the Raiders staff coached in the Senior Bowl and came away drafting Sio Moore and TE Mychael Rivera.  Moore was one of the players that were singled out that week in relation to the Raiders.

If Reggie McKenzie stays on board after the season, expect to have the Raiders scouting department to continue the trend of drafting at least 2 or more prospects playing in the Senior Bowl.

Its too early to say who the Raiders will be interested in, but based on need, the Raiders are expected to go after pass catchers and pass rushers early.  Secondary and offensive line would also be areas of need.

So based on that, my short list of favorite Senior Bowl prospects for the Raiders:

LB Denzel Perryman Miami
DT Michael Bennett Ohio State
DT Danny Shelton Washington
WR Kevin White West Virginia
WR Josh Harper Fresno State
RB David Cobb Minnesota
DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa UCLA
DE Bud Dupree Kentucky
OG Laken Tomlinson Duke
S Cody Prewitt Ole Miss
DE Preston Smith Mississippi State

The one senior prospect that I was hoping to play in the Senior Bowl is Louisville DeVante Parker. Parker has decided to forgo Senior Bowl week to prepare for the NFL Draft.  Parker was injured at the beginning of the year with a broken foot and missed the first 7 games but still managed to put up over 700 yards in 5 games.  Parker has very good speed and has plus measurables along wtih a massive catch radius.







  • Ameer Abdullah
    Nebraska
    RB5'9190Big Ten
  • Adrian Amos
    Penn State
    S6'0215Big Ten
  • Dres Anderson
    Utah
    WR6'1187Pac-12
  • Stephone Anthony
    Clemson
    ILB6'2245ACC
  • Cameron Artis-Payne
    Auburn
    RB5'10210SEC
  • Michael Bennett
    Ohio State
    DT6'2288Big Ten
  • E.J. Bibbs
    Iowa State
    TE6'3252Big 12
  • Nick Boyle
    Delaware
    TE6'5273FCS
  • Shane Carden
    East Carolina
    QB6'2218AAC
  • Joe Cardona
    Navy
    LS6'3236IND
  • Imoan Claiborne
    Northwestern St. LA
    DC5'11187FCS
  • T.J. Clemmings
    Pittsburgh
    OT6'5305ACC
  • Sammie Coates
    Auburn
    WR6'2200SEC
  • David Cobb
    Minnesota
    RB5'11225Big Ten
  • La'el Collins
    LSU
    OT6'5315SEC
  • Corey Crawford
    Clemson
    DE6'5270ACC
  • Jamison Crowder
    Duke
    WR5'9175ACC
  • Carl Davis
    Iowa
    DT6'4315Big Ten
  • Devante Davis
    UNLV
    WR6'3215MWC
  • Quandre Diggs
    Texas
    DC5'10200Big 12
  • Reese Dismukes
    Auburn
    OC6'3298SEC
  • Phillip Dorsett
    Miami
    WR5'10185ACC
  • Kurtis Drummond
    Michigan State
    S6'1200Big Ten
  • Alvin "Bud" Dupree
    Kentucky
    DE6'3252SEC
  • Andrew East
    Vanderbilt
    LS6'2236SEC
  • Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
    Oregon
    DC5'9195Pac-12
  • Cameron Erving
    Florida State
    OT6'5320ACC
  • Kaleb Eulls
    Mississippi State
    DT6'3295SEC
  • Jake Fisher
    Oregon
    OT6'5292Pac-12
  • Trey Flowers
    Arkansas
    DE6'3262SEC
  • Jalston Fowler
    Alabama
    FB6'1250SEC
  • Andy Gallik
    Boston College
    OC6'2299ACC
  • Clayton Geathers
    Central Florida
    S6'2208AAC
  • Markus Golden
    Missouri
    DE6'2260SEC
  • Senquez Golson
    Ole Miss
    DC5'9180SEC
  • Doran Grant
    Ohio State
    DC5'10193Big Ten
  • Hroniss Grasu
    Oregon
    OC6'3298Pac-12
  • Garrett Grayson
    Colorado State
    QB6'2220MWC
  • Rashad Greene
    Florida State
    WR6'0180ACC
  • Geneo Grissom
    Oklahoma
    DE6'4263Big 12
  • Ladarius Gunter
    Miami
    DC6'2198ACC
  • Justin Hardy
    East Carolina
    WR5'11186AAC
  • Josh Harper
    Fresno State
    WR6'1184MWC
  • Anthony Harris
    Virginia
    S6'0190ACC
  • Rob Havenstein
    Wisconsin
    OT6'8330Big Ten
  • Jeff Heuerman
    Ohio State
    TE6'5255Big Ten
  • Jordan Hicks
    Texas
    OLB6'1234Big 12
  • Zach Hodges
    Harvard
    OLB6'3245Ivy League
  • Mike Hull
    Penn State
    OLB6'0232Big Ten
  • Tre' Jackson
    Florida State
    OG6'4330ACC
  • Grady Jarrett
    Clemson
    DT6'0290ACC
  • David Johnson
    Northern Iowa
    RB6'1215FCS
  • Kevin Johnson
    Wake Forest
    DC6'0185ACC
  • Hau'oli Kikaha
    Washington
    DE6'3260Pac-12
  • Ben Koyack
    Notre Dame
    TE6'4261IND
  • Jeremy Langford
    Michigan State
    RB5'11206Big Ten
  • Dezmin Lewis
    Central Arkansas
    WR6'4210FCS
  • Tony Lippett
    Michigan State
    WR6'3190Big Ten
  • Tyler Lockett
    Kansas State
    WR5'11175Big 12
  • Kyle Loomis
    Portland State
    PT6'2210FCS
  • Donatella Luckett
    Harding
    WR6'0210Division II
  • Justin Manton
    Louisiana Monroe
    PK6'1194Sun Belt
  • Ali Marpet
    Hobart
    OT6'4310Division III
  • Josue Matias
    Florida State
    OG6'5322ACC
  • Lorenzo Mauldin
    Louisville
    OLB6'4252ACC
  • Vince Mayle
    Washington State
    WR6'3219Pac-12
  • Joey Mbu
    Houston
    DT6'3312AAC
  • Ty Montgomery
    Stanford
    WR6'1215Pac-12
  • Robert Myers
    Tennessee St.
    OG6'5305FCS
  • Connor Neighbors
    LSU
    FB5'11230SEC
  • Steven Nelson
    Oregon State
    DC5'10192Pac-12
  • Nick O'Leary
    Florida State
    TE6'3248ACC
  • Tom Obarski
    Concordia MN
    PK5'11185Division II
  • Owamagbe Odighizuwa
    UCLA
    DE6'3270Pac-12
  • Nate Orchard
    Utah
    DE6'4255Pac-12
  • Denzel Perryman
    Miami
    ILB5'11240ACC
  • Cody Prewitt
    Ole Miss
    S6'2215SEC
  • Hayes Pullard
    USC
    ILB6'0230Pac-12
  • Damarious Randall
    Arizona State
    S5'11190Pac-12
  • Quinten Rollins
    Miami (Ohio)
    DC6'0203MAC
  • Eric Rowe
    Utah
    DC6'1201Pac-12
  • Ty Sambrailo
    Colorado State
    OT6'5310MWC
  • Danny Shelton
    Washington
    DT6'1339Pac-12
  • Blake Sims
    Alabama
    QB6'0208SEC
  • D'Joun Smith
    Florida Atlantic
    DC5'10190C-USA
  • Derron Smith
    Fresno State
    S5'11200MWC
  • Preston Smith
    Mississippi State
    DE6'6267SEC
  • Martrell Spaight
    Arkansas
    OLB6'2230SEC
  • Jaquiski Tartt
    Samford
    S6'1218FCS
  • Laken Tomlinson
    Duke
    OG6'3325ACC
  • Lynden Trail
    Norfolk State
    OLB6'6260FCS
  • Louis Trinca-Pasat
    Iowa
    DT6'2290Big Ten
  • Tyler Varga
    Yale
    FB5'11225FCS
  • Kevin White
    TCU
    DC5'9174Big 12
  • Kevin White
    West Virginia
    WR6'3210Big 12
  • Daryl Williams
    Oklahoma
    OT6'5321Big 12
  • Ramik Wilson
    Georgia
    ILB6'2232SEC
  • Gabe Wright
    Auburn
    DT6'2290SEC