Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prospect Profile: C Travis Frederick - Wisconsin

Wisconsin Profile:

Name:  Travis Frederick
Height:  6' - 4"
Weight:  338 lbs.
Class:  Redshirt Junior
Hometown:  Sharon, WI
Date of Birth:  1/1/1991 (22 years old)
High School:  Big Foot HS

Season Summaries:

2012 RJr. Year:  First Team All-Big Ten (Media), Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches), Academic All-Big Ten.  Started all 14 games at Center for the Badgers, including his second Rose Bowl appearance, this time vs. Stanford.  Made the switch over from playing Left Guard in 2011.  Helped continue to pave the way for RB Montee Ball who is the all time FBS leader in Touchdowns.  The Badgers finished with over 3300 yards rushing on the year, with over 1900 going to Ball.

2011 RSo. Year:  Consensus Second Team All-Big Ten at Left Guard for Wisconsin.  Started all 13 games at Left Guard including the Rose Bowl vs. Oregon.  Wisconsin gained near 3300 yards rushing on the season, and Frederick helped protect Russell Wilson, and helped an OL that only allowed 1.79 sacks/gm.

2010 RS Season:  N/A

2009 Fr. Year:  Played in 5 games and had 4 starts (2 at Center & 2 at Left Guard).  Became the first true freshman in school history to start a season opener on the offensive line for Wisconsin when they played Northern Illinois on 9/5/09.

2012 RJr. Year Highlights (#72 playing Center):

2011 RSo. Year Highlights (#72 playing Left Guard):

Strengths (+):
+ Stout at the point of attack with a tremendous anchoring ability, carries weight well and loves to use it
Old school player, will man you up and look to dominate you one on one
Outstanding punch and upper body leverage
Clearly understands power blocking schemes from Guard to Guard
Consistently shows knack for walling off defenders to form running lanes
Showed versatility as a LG and C his final two years in Madison
Smart kid who transitioned to Center his RJr. year (computer engineering major)
Does well in pass pro, rarely overextends or chases
Extremely well coached at Wisconsin, the Badger OL pride themselves on running the ball and being dominant, they also sport one of the most extensive alumni fraternities in the NFL 
Shows natural teamwork skills on combo and scoop blocks, good off the transfer to 2nd level

Negatives (-):
- Not exceptionally fleet of foot, better in a phone booth
Pulls are average, struggles getting out in front and delivering a lead block ahead of the ball carrier
Likely limited to C or possibly RG in the NFL, not overly athletic at all
Shows decent 2nd level ability, but will likely struggle early if asked to block NFL Linebackers and Strong Safeties who are much faster and explosive than the Big 10

NFL Analysis:
It was a relatively weak Center class in 2013 until Frederick decided to enter early.  Following a long line of Wisconsin linemen (yes, it's cliche but it's true) such as G/C Peter Konz (2012, 2nd Rd. - Falcons), G Kevin Zeitler (2012, 1st Rd. - Bengals), T Gabe Carimi (2011, 1st Rd. - Bears), G John Moffitt (2011, 3rd Rd. - Seahawks), C Bill Nagy (2011, 7th Rd. - Cowboys, now Lions), T Joe Thomas (2007, 1st Rd. - Browns) and G Craig Urbik (2009, 3rd Rd. - Steelers, now Bills) Frederick is continuing the chain as Wisconsin "churns" out another solid mauler.  Frederick, with his smarts, and straight ahead physical nature, will no doubt be a plug and play center for a team in the Power Blocking Scheme.  He also has a full Big 10 season as a LG, but his athletic ability is somewhat limited, so it seems likely he'll fill time immediately at Center and possibly backup at Guard in the NFL.  

Outlook as a Raider:
Oakland and Reggie McKenzie seem very set with Stefan Wisniewski at Center.  However, with the addition of Greg Olson and the re-introduction of the Power Blocking Scheme, an argument can be made that Wisniewski could be moved back to Left Guard, where he thrived in his rookie season (2011).  The Raiders will most likely not get a look at drafting Guard until the high 4th Round where prospects such as Brian Winters and Alvin Bailey could still be available.  2nd Year players Tony Bergstrom and Lucas Nix are still there to plug in, but you wonder if they were brought in for the Knapp scheme only...can they transition to the PBS seamlessly?  Frederick would definitely be an interesting pick for Oakland...who currently sit without a 2nd Round pick (where Frederick is projected)...a trade down and a gained 2nd Round pick will likely be necessary, but perhaps the Raiders might take a shot at him, if available, in the high 3rd.  Regardless, he's a smart, physical inside player that should do nothing but improve the Raiders' run game in 2013 if drafted.

Yes folks, born and raised Wisconsin

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Prospect Profile: DT Johnathan Hankins - Ohio State

Name:  Johnathan Hankins
Height:  6' - 3"
Weight:  320 lbs.
Class:  Junior
Hometown:  Dearborn Heights, MI
Date of Birth:  January 1, 1992 (21 years old)
High School:  Southeastern High School

Ohio State Career:

2012 Junior Year:  Associated Press 2nd Team All-American.....2nd Team All-Big 10.....finished the season with 55 tackles (22 solo), 5 tackles for loss and 1 sack.

2011 Sophomore Year: Honorable Mention All-Big 10.....started all 13 games, finishing the season with 67 total tackles (32 solo), 14 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 1 fumble recovery.

2010 Freshman Year: Voted by coaches as outstanding first year player after his freshman season, earning a spot on the defensive line rotation.

2012 Junior Highlights:

2011 Sophomore Highlights:

+ Massive with powerful lower body
Disruptive with the ability to collapse the pocket
Strong at the point of attack
Short area quickness gives him positional advantage
Good balance, doesn't get knocked off his feet very much
Versatility is a plus....lined up at multiple positions on the DL
Seals the hole very well against the run
Laterally moves well when engaged against OL in run defense

- Conditioning needs improvement; has a sloppy body
Inconsistent motor
Lacks pass rush moves
Needs to improve on tracking the ball when engaged by OL
Doesn't always use size to his advantage
Tends to overpursue and is susceptible to cutbacks in run defense

NFL Player Comparison: Ahtyba Rubin Cleveland Browns

NFL Analysis:
Johnathan Hankins is one of the top defensive tackles in the 2013 NFL Draft.  A stout run defender, Hankins is blessed with quick feet for a man his size.  He has shown the versatility to line up as nose tackle, under tackle, and 5 technique defensive end over his career as a Buckeye.  Hankins can be equally effective playing NT in a 3-4 or as a DT in the 4-3.  When double teamed he possesses the ability to tie up multiple OL but when he's on his game he can be a disruptive force.  He has the size and strength to effectively fill the gap and shut down the running lane.  In a deep DT class, Hankins is currently projected to go somewhere between the middle and later part of the 1st round.

Raiders Outlook:
Johnathan Hankins would be considered a reach at the Raiders' current slot with the 3rd pick overall.  Currently Star Lotulelei is the top DT prospect in this draft and is the only one worthy of a top 5 selection.  If the Raiders were to organize a trade down between 15-25, Hankins could be an option based on need and his ability to play in different defensive fronts.  A wide body like Hankins who possesses quickness would add a interior presence that has been sorely lacking in recent years. The biggest knock on Hankins is that he doesn't always play to his ability.  His junior numbers declined after a breakout sophomore campaign and it was surprising that the junior decided to declare early.  If he can play up to his talent level, he could become a premier interior defender in the league, but with that comes a level of bustability.  Adding to that a deep group at the position, with prospects like Sheldon Richardson, Shariff Floyd, Sylvester Williams and Jesse Williams, Hankins' private workouts and combine performance will be vital to where he ultimately lands.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prospect Profile: DT/NT John Jenkins - Georgia

Georgia Profile:

Name:  John Jenkins
Height:  359 lbs.
Weight:  6' - 4"
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Meriden, CT
Date of Birth:  7/11/89 (23 years old)
Junior College:  Gulf Coast CC (Mississippi)
High School:  Francis T. Maloney HS

Season Summaries:

2012 Sr. Year:  Started all 13 games (including SEC Championship game vs. Alabama) at Nose Tackle.  2nd Team All-SEC (Coaches).  Had 50 total tackles including 1.0 sacks and 2.0 TFLs.  Consistently double teamed, mammoth Jenkins help Ogletree, Jarvis Jones, Shawn Williams and Cornelius Washington to extremely strong seasons.

2011 Jr. Year:  Played in 14 games coming in as a transfer from Gulf Coast CC in Mississippi.  Logged 28 total tackles with 6.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, 10.0 QB Pressures and an INT in Georgia's Bowl game vs. Michigan State.  Recipient of the Jeff & Stacey Rothenberger Family Football Scholarship.

2009 & 2010 Fr./So. Years (Gulf Coast CC):  Four-star recruit coming out of GCCC, #11 Overall JC player, and #7 DT in the country.  Recorded 41 total tackles and two sacks as a sophomore.

2012 Senior Year Highlights (#6 playing Nose, typically):

Positives (+):
+ Huge body, has the appropriate size for a Nose Tackle in the NFL
Good pocket pusher, very active and disruptive inside, especially early in a game
Shows good motor and effort in pursuit for a big man
Quick in short spaces, can get violent with the ball carrier in sight
Has a decent swim move that he needs to use more often
Does a good job in screen recognition
Consistently demands double teams
Does not quit, will fight through any block, even double teams, keeps working to the ball carrier

Negatives (-):
- Not an every down DT in the NFL
Like all big men, the stamina wanes in the 2nd half, needs to be platooned
Needs to be more active in using his hands to disengage blocks, he'll lean on a blocker with his massive frame, but when he gets anchored the blockers he faces typically can get their hands inside to hold him in place
Susceptible to chop blocks
Questions about his study habits, missed his last Bowl game vs. Nebraska due to academic ineligibility, spent two years in Junior College before qualifying for BCS ball at UGA

NFL Outlook:
Any team looking for a strong Nose Tackle, a true Nose Tackle, this is the guy.  He's not as versatile or explosive as Star Lotulelei or Sheldon Richardson, but he is essentially a different player.  His ability to absorb extra blockers will make him a highly sought after prospect to teams in a 3-4.  With the proper LB corps behind him, and the motor he possesses, he can become a strong cog for defenses looking to shore up their inside defensive presence.

Outlook as a Raider:
An interesting option for Oakland.  While Jenkins' value is not worthy of a No. 3 Overall pick, he is certainly an option if the Raiders engineer a tradedown into the mid to late 1st Round.  Oakland recently acquired former Marshall Nose Tackle Johnny Jones to a Futures Reserve this off-season, so it's possible they're holding on to the notion of having the 3-4 in the playbook.  They clearly are lacking the depth at LB, specifically Inside Linebacker, to fully convert to a 3-4 look as their primary defense, but with Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour and possibly Desmond Bryant all moving on (though it is likely Bryant will get paid and remain a Raider)...the 3-4 would lend itself well to Oakland who only need some help at Nose and LB to make it work.  DT's like Bryant, Bilukidi and Lamarr Houston are prototypical 3-4 DEs...Shaughnessy, Andre Carter and Jack Crawford are more in the 4-3 DE range...though Crawford could convert to 3-4 OLB with his ability in space.  While this option isn't likely for the Raiders, it certainly remains a possibility...and the Raider coaching staff got a very good look at Jenkins at the Senior Bowl.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Prospect Profile: OT Eric Fisher - Central Michigan

Central Michigan Profile:

Name:  Eric Fisher
Height:  6' - 7"
Weight:  305 lbs.
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Rochester, MI
Date of Birth:  1/5/1991 (22 years old)
High School:  Stoney Creek HS

Season Summaries:

2012 Sr. Year:  First Team All-MAC selection by Coaches and Media.  Started all 12 games at Left Tackle.  2nd Team All-American by Sports Illustrated and 3rd Team All-American by the Associated Press.  Also named Offensive Upfront Co-Player of the year by Team.  CMU offense averaged 6.2 yd/play and only gave up 14 sacks in MAC play.

2011 Jr. Year:  3rd Team All-MAC selection.  Selected Offensive Upfront Co-Player of the year by Team.  Started first 10 games at Left Tackle but missed last two with injury.  Offensive Line allowed just 17 sacks all season.

2010 So. Year:  Made four starts at Right Tackle, two at Right Guard and three at Left Tackle.

2009 Fr. Year:  Appeared in eight games total and had two starts at Left Tackle as a true freshman.  Name CMU Program's Future Ace Award Recipient.

2012 Senior Year Highlights (#79 Left Tackle):

Full CMU Offense vs. Iowa Defense Game Film:

2013 Senior Bowl Practice Day 1 - OL/DL One on Ones start at about 22:40

Positives (+):
+ Outstanding frame with great length, a legit 6'-7" with 34" arms, 82"+ wingspan and huge 10 3/8" hands, weighs in at an athletic 305 lbs. with room to grow to help anchor
Athletic, also played high school basketball, and his movement skills show it
Patient pass blocker, does not lunge or over-react
Maintains base in pass pro, great feet, constantly shifting his lower body for better position
Heady kid, Mechanical Engineering Major, not confused by stunts, apparently, Fisher studied extensive amounts of film on the DL he was going to face before arriving at the Senior Bowl, it showed
Very active and quick in space, pulls well, sticks to his downfield blocks effectively
Not lazy on the backside, gets to the outside knee, and can quickly flip his body around in position

Negatives (-):
- Could stand to add strength to his upper body, sometimes ineffective in the run game
- Concerns about level of competition in the MAC his senior year, not exactly the SEC (Joeckel)
- 34" arm length not fully elite, but still good, could play Right Tackle early in his NFL career
- Like most kids his size, can be susceptible to the bull rush if set up properly, probably needs to add another 15 to 20 lbs. to help withstand the much more explosive DEs in the NFL

NFL Analysis:
Fisher obviously has all the measurables a team could want for a franchise Left Tackle.  His overall game is very strong, and he is excellent in Pass Pro.  The work he put in at the 2013 Senior Bowl has propelled him into Top 10 consideration, and rightfully so with Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews opting out of the 2013 Draft.  Teams such as Arizona, Philadelphia, Arizona and perhaps Miami (should Jake Long not be resigned) should be considering OT help in the 1st Round.  It will be interesting to see how he grades out after the Combine and what his projections will be.  Seems likely he'll go in the Top 10, if not, Top 5.

Outlook as a Raider:
Fisher is clearly in the mix for Oakland at No. 3 Overall.  While a pass rusher or a solid defensive tackle are the immediate NEEDS for the Raiders with Kelly/Seymour and perhaps Desmond Bryant all in the mix for moving on, the Best Player Scenario presented by Reggie McKenzie would lead one to believe that if available, Fisher could fill that void.  Jared Veldheer has manned the blind side for Oakland the past three seasons, and has done it extremely well for a 3rd Round DII prospect.  Veldheer and Fisher (if selected) would make for an excellent pair of bookend OTs to help protect whichever QB is leading the Raiders for the time being and the foreseeable future.  The likely scenario, if Reggie is indeed looking to improve the OL, and provided the Geno Smith "hype" is all just a ploy, would be a Chiefs pick of Luke Joeckel and a Jags pick of Damontre Moore, Bjoern Werner and or Geno Smith...leaving Fisher at No. 3.  While the Raiders would indeed love to have Fisher, the excellent week the young man put in at the Senior Bowl makes him an ideal candidate for teams to trade up for at the No. 3 position.  With new regimes in Kansas City, Jacksonville and Oakland...they all will likely be looking to trade down to help build their new identities.  There could be three trade downs in the first 3 picks, or there could be none, either way Fisher would bring value to Oakland as a solid offensive lineman, or a pawn to trade down with.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Raiders at the Senior Bowl: Day 4 Blog


BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE: Don’t believe any of the draft analysts that attempt to predict how the Raiders will select based on their perceived needs. As he did last year, GM Reggie McKenzie will select the best player available, regardless of need.

Raiders Hire Tony Sparano as OL Coach


Senior Bowl (Day 1 and Day 2 Footage)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Senior Bowl - Day 2: DA Presser

Dennis Allen Press Conference: Link


Prospect Profile: OG Chance Warmack - Alabama

Alabama Profile:

Name:  Chance Warmack
Height:  6' - 3"
Weight:  320 lbs.
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Atlanta, GA
Date of Birth:  9/14/91  (21 years old)
High School:  Westlake (teammate of Cam Newton)

Season Summaries:

2012 Sr. Year:  Started all 14 games at LG, completing a career that included 39 starts overall.  SEC Academic Honor Roll.  Unanimous 1st Team All-American by AFCA, FWAA, Walter Camp, AP, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated, as well as unanimous 1st Team All-SEC by Coaches and Media.  Outland Trophy watch list and quarter-finalist for Lombardi Award (top lineman or linebacker).  Only missed 7 assignments in 728 snaps, and only allowed 3.5 sacks in 287 pass attempts.  Lead the Tide with 37 pancake blocks.  Season average grade of 89.4.  Helped lead the Tide to their 3rd National Championship in 4 years while opening holes for RBs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon to career highs (184 and 153 respectively) in the SEC Championship vs. Georgia.  

2011 Jr. Year:  Started all 13 games at LG.  Honorable Mention All-American by Pro Football Weekly.  Second Team All-SEC by Coaches.  Helped block for an Alabama offense that was 16th in the Nation in rushing (214.5 yds/gm), 20th in scoring offense (34.9 pts/gm), and 26th Nationally in sacks allowed with 1.31 sacks/gm.

2010 So. Year:  Started all 13 games at LG.  Alabama ranked Nationally at 22nd in total offense, 29th in rushing offense, 27th in passing and provided time for the Nation's 4th best passer in terms of passing efficiency.  

2009 Fr. Year:  Saw action in 5 games at Guard as a true freshman, including time against Arkansas and Mississippi State.

2012 Senior Year Highlights (#65 LG):

2011 Junior Year Highlights (#65 LG):

2010 Sophomore Year Highlights (#65 LG):

Positives (+):
+ Where to start?  Compact, powerful, upper and lower body strength are above average
+ PBS, Inside Zone killer, will pop and drive defenders back off the ball consistently for 4 quarters
+ Excellent combo blocker, peels off and shifts to second level with fluidity
+ Above average second level blocker, gets to point of attack, squares up and sticks to LBs
+ Pass pro is solid, stout at initial contact, anchors well, and shifts well laterally
+ Tenacious and opportunistic blocker, will hustle down field to find another block and will finish his man to the ground at every chance he gets, punishes defensive linemen tied up with offensive tackles with big hits
+ Disciplined in pass pro, maintains ground and doesn't get confused by stunts and blitzes
+ Strong puller, shifts easily and pushes upfield to meet LBs in the hole with heavy violence
+ Heady, Academic All SEC
+ Heavy hands with great pop
+ A three year starter at LG, played as a true freshman, lots of durable experience for 'Bama

Negatives (-):
- Can play a little high, but his hands and technique tend to compensate
- Needs to cover the belly
- Played on the best Offensive Line in College Football, had excellent help at Center and Left Tackle which may be masking small flaws in his game, but there aren't many

NFL Analysis:
It's rare, but Warmack is the most complete prospect for his position in the 2013 NFL Draft.  His size and technique are ideal, his game tape is phenomenal, he helped the Tide win 3 National Championships during his 4 years in Tuscaloosa, and he was even honored as a top student-athlete in the SEC.  Warmack is far and away the best OG in the 2013 Draft Class.  Comparatively in 2012, Stanford's David DeCastro was also the top OG in the Class and was drafted 24th Overall by the Steelers.  Unfortunately, DD suffered a season ending knee injury early and will be on the comeback in 2013.  OG isn't considered a value pick high in the Draft, but Warmack could very well be taken in the Top 10 if Joeckel and Fisher and/or Lane Johnson all go early to teams like Kansas City, Philadelphia and Arizona...San Diego is in the mix too for an Offensive Tackle.  With that in mind, teams looking to bolster their Offensive Lines will likely look for a franchise Left Tackle first and foremost...however, teams looking to pound the rock with more consistency will look to the highly polished Warmack early.

Outlook as a Raider:
Oakland is picking No. 3 Overall.  One would think that Reggie McKenzie isn't taking an OG at that position in the Draft...especially with Tony Bergstrom in the cut looking to fill in at LG or RT in 2013.  However, trade down scenarios present some interesting opportunities for Oakland to begin building a nasty dynasty up front.  Warmack is likely a No. 10-20 Overall prospect, depending on where the top Offensive Tackle talent falls in the Draft.  While the Raiders definitely need to get after the quarterback, it was clear that the run game regressed in 2012, either by design thank to Knapp, or by the fact that the Raiders are old and injured at OG.  Cooper Carlisle isn't getting any younger, and recently acquired ZBS RG Mike Brisiel just toughed out his second consecutive year with a major injury (ankle) that he just got surgery on.  New OC Greg Olson has stated that Oakland will likely return to the PBS in 2013 and help get McFadden back on track.  Warmack would be huge for Oakland as a plug and play LG with all the tools needed to get the Raiders back to running the ball successfully.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reggie McKenzie Sits Down With Media

Link to Transcript


Prospect Profile: DT Sheldon Richardson - Missouri

Name:  Sheldon Richardson
Height:  6' - 4"
Weight:  295 lbs.
Class:  Redshirt Junior
Hometown:  St. Louis, Mo
DOB:  01/01/1989 (24 years old)

Mizzou Tigers Profile:

2012 ALL-Sec 1st Team (Media)
2012  All-Sec 2nd Team (Coaches) 

2012 Senior Year:    Selected First Team All-Southeastern Conference (Media selection) for the 2012 college football season. Richardson, a junior tackle, became Mizzou's first-ever All-SEC designee, as he was named to the 2nd-team for his outstanding play in 2012. Richardson led all SEC interior linemen with 75 tackles (2nd-best on the Tiger squad).

The St. Louis, Mo. native tied for the team lead with 10.5 tackles for loss, and was second on the team with his 4.0 quarterback sacks. He added a team-best seven QB hurries, broke up three passes, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick on the season, as well. - Missouri football

2011 Junior Year:  Made his much-anticipated debut with the Tigers, and provided much-needed depth in the trenches as he amassed 37 tackles, including 8.0 TFLs and 2 QB sacks in 13 games (including 2 starts) ... Closed the year by making 2 stops and a half-sack against North Carolina in the Independence Bowl ... Recorded a tackle for loss in overtime against Arizona State ... finished WIU game with two assisted tackles, both coming for a loss ... teamed up with Brayden Burnett to record his first sack as a Tiger early in the first quarter ... assisted on three tackles against Oklahoma in Norman ... recorded three tackles at Kansas State while also batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage ... finished the Iowa State game with four tackles, 1.5 of which were for loss ... Made his first career start against Oklahoma State and finished with one tackle for a two yard loss ... finished the Texas A&M game with eight tackles, including an assisted TFL ... was a force in the backfield all game long against Baylor, finishing with five tackles including 1.5 for loss, a half a sack and a quarterback hurry.

Junior College/High School:  One of the most highly-coveted athletes to come out of the state of Missouri in recent years, who returned to his home state after a two-year stop at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif. ... Was ranked by as the No. 3 junior college prospect in the nation at any postion, even after he was redshirted in 2010 due to a wrist injury ... Was a dominant defensive lineman and tight end at St. Louis' Gateway Tech High School, where he was ranked by as the No. 4 overall player (any position) in the nation, as well as being the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the country by several national outlets ... Also checked in as the No. 1 overall player (any position) in the state of Missouri, and originally signed with Mizzou as part of the 2009 signing class, before going the junior college route ...Was named as a 2008 EA Sports First Team All-American after a senior season at Gateway Tech which included 88 tackles and 19 sacks, while adding seven fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles and one interception ... Scored six defensive touchdowns on the year, as well, while adding 27 receptions for 541 yards and eight touchdowns at the tight end position.

2012 Senior Highlights:

2011 Junior Year Highlights:

Strengths (+):
+ Good Motor and will chase the play until the end
Good Penetraion and strength at point of attack
Quickness and speed off snap are NFL caliber which helps him beat trap blocks
Good in both pass rush and run defense
Smart player who doesn't take stupid penalties
Could play DE in a 3-4 scheme

Weaknesses (-):
- Needs to work on technique a bit
- Had shoulder surgery in 2011
- Tends to play a little too high at times
- Needs to chase less from behind and penetrate more to make the plays
- Needs to work on tackling in open field

NFL Player Comparison: DT - Amobi Okoye - Bears

Analysis: Some question how hard he'll work once getting a first round contract.  Richardson has worked his way up the draft board though with a solid 2012 season.  Richardson also showed a knack for stepping up his game versus stiffer competition in his 2012 season.  While he has a good motor, good speed, and chases plays well his only standout year was his 2012 campaign.  Some teams may wonder if it was a fluke or just a preview of whats to come from Richardson. Richardson should be drafted somewhere within the 12-20 range depending on how well he does at the combine.  Richardson could become a top 12-15 DT in the NFL in just a couple seasons if he improves his upper body strength and pad level.

Raiders Outlook:

Raiders will be looking to draft some D-lineman this draft but it's doubtful Richardson would be taken before Star Lotulelei. The only way the Raiders look at Richardson is he has an outstanding combine or they trade down a little ways.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Prospect Profile: WR Robert Woods - Southern California

Name:  Robert Woods
Height:  6' - 1"
Weight:  190 lbs.
Class:  Junior
Hometown:  Carson, CA
High School:  Serra High School
Date of Birth:  April 10, 1992 (nearly 21 years old)

Trojans Career:

2012 Junior Year:  2nd Team All Pac-12....amassing 849 yards on 74 receptions and 11 touchdowns.....became the all-time career receptions leader at USC breaking Dwayne Jarrett's previous record of 216.

2011 Sophomore Year:  Consensus All-American by all coaching and media of 3 Biletnikoff Award finalists, finishing the season with 111 receptions for 1292 yards and 15 touchdowns.....also had 17 kickoff returns for 393 yards (23.1 yd average), 13 punt returns for 118 yards (9.1 yd average).....broke Keyshawn Johnson's single season receptions record as well as for the Pac-12 Conference.

2010 Freshman Year: As a true freshman, started all 13 games for a team best 65 receptions for 792 yards and 6 touchdowns.....7 carries for 56 yards.....38 kickoff returns for 971 yards (25.6 yd average) with 1 touchdown.....his 1817 total yards from scrimmage set a freshman school record.

2012 Junior Highlights:


2011 Sophomore Highlights:

2010 Freshman Highlights:


+ Plays very fast and knows how to use his speed; former All-State HS track star
Great change of direction; very quick in and out of his breaks 
Good body control; can make tough catches look easy
Has shown the deep speed to run away from defenders
Polished route runner who has a great feel against zone defenses
Reliable hands
Gains extra yards after the catch in space
Has home run playmaking ability
Hard worker and a competitor
+ Very good on-field awareness and high football IQ


- Needs to add some weight and upper body strength to beat physical CBs
- Sometimes exposes his body to unnecessary hits
- Needs to improve his overall concentration; susceptible to occasionally dropping an easy pass

NFL Player Comparison: WR Reggie Wayne - Colts

Robert Woods is one of the better wide receiving prospects in the 2013 Draft.  Prior to the 2012 season, Woods was the top consensus draft eligible WR.  The rise of fellow Trojan WR Marqise Lee and possibly a lingering effects of offseason ankle surgery led to a down year compared to a spectacular record setting sophomore campaign.  Woods is a very well rounded and explosive receiving prospect.  He's a smooth athlete who's a savvy route runner and displays good hands.  As a former high school track star, he has showcased that blazing speed on the football field.  He's capable of playing in the slot and is dangerous off bubble screens, with the ability to take it to the house from anywhere on the field.  He does lack the prototypical length and size of some of the elite WRs, but he makes up for it with his competitiveness and football awareness.  He's valuable in today's pass happy NFL, and his ability to play both outside and inside the slot makes him that much more attractive as a prospect.  He needs to gain some upper body strength to be able to go up against some of the more physical cornerbacks in the NFL.  He is currently projected in the low 1st to mid-2nd round.

Draft Outlook:
Wide receiver is not one of the bigger needs for the Raiders this offseason.  Denarius Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey both had down years compared to the year before, but a prospect of Woods' caliber may not be available with the current picks the Raiders hold.  Woods has a similar style to that of Moore, but Woods has a better college pedigree with much better production and without the injury history.  He will likely become a dynamic playmaker at the next level.