Sunday, March 31, 2013

Prospect Profile: FS DJ Swearinger - South Carolina




Name:  Dayario Jamal "Jungle Boi" Swearinger
Height:  5'-10"
Weight:  208 lbs.
Class:  Senior
High School:  Greenwood High School
Hometown:  Greenwood, SC

Gamecocks Career

2012 Senior Year:  2nd Team All SEC....started all 12 games, logging 79 tackles (62 solo), 3 tackles for loss, 1 QB hurry, 2 interceptions (69 yd INT for TD), 1 fumble recovery (65 yd for TD), 2 forced fumbles and 7 passes broken up

2011 Junior Year:  started all 13 games, 2 at strong safety and playing the rest at free safety....notching 80 tackles (58 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 1 pass broken up and 1 forced fumble

2010 Sophomore Year:  played in all 14 games, starting 8....played both safety positions, ending the season as the 4th leading tackler with 66 total tackles (51 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception (22 yd TD), 5 passes broken up, 1 QB hurry and 1 forced fumble

2009 Freshman Year:  played in all 13 games as a true freshman, with 19 total tackles (13 solo), 1 pass broken up and 1 QB hurry.

2012 Senior Highlights







Strengths:
+ Extremely physical player who is one of the biggest hitters in college football
Good play recognition and awareness
Downhill player who attacks and explodes through his target against the run
Versatile, having played every position in the defensive secondary
Great at tackling in open space, rarely whiffing on tackles
Athletic and physical enough to cover runningbacks and tight ends
Interchangeable at either safety spot
Emotional and vocal leader
Has been a consistently productive player in his SC career


Weaknesses:
- Overaggressiveness sometimes leads to poor technique and unnecessary personal fouls
Sometimes can be a bit reckless
Timed speed suggests deep coverage ability and make-up speed
Doesn't have an extra gear or suddenness in his game
Needs to do a better job on jump balls and jumping routes
Doesn't possess elite size

NFL Player Comparison: FS Brian Dawkins - Eagles/Broncos

Draft Analysis
To put it simply, DJ Swearinger is a throwback.  His play is reminiscent of old headhunters like Jack Tatum, Ronnie Lot, Steve Atwater and more recently guys like Brian Dawkins and Bernard Pollard.  Like the aforementioned players before him, Swearinger can make ball carriers think twice about crossing the middle of the field or even come in his general direction.  He can change the complexion of a game off of one hit.  

Swearinger is a very versatile prospect, who has played just about every position in the secondary during his career at USC.  He is just as good playing in the box close to the line of scrimmage or playing deep center and attacking plays in front of him.  He doesn't have elite speed, but his ability to turn and run from his backpedal without losing any speed makes up for it.  

In any other year, Swearinger would have been a top prospect.  He's the type of player who could blossom into a Pro Bowl player and end up on a playoff contender because he's slotted to go between the 2nd to 3rd round.  Wherever he gets drafted, a team will likely end up getting a draft day value based on his talent.


Raiders Outlook
Oakland would be a great spot for DJ Swearinger.  He would bring the type of enforcer that Oakland has lacked for many many years.  In many ways, Swearinger is everything that both outgoing Huff and Mike Mitchell are not.  Huff was tall and fast, but he played passively in run support and his tackling skills were subpar.  Mike Mitchell was known for being a hard hitter, but it rarely showed on the field because he was too slow to hit anyone.  Swearinger's straight line speed isn't elite, but he made a lot of plays in the very talented SEC for 4 years.  Currently the Raiders own a 3rd round pick and it could very well be that Swearinger is available with the pick.  Reggie McKenzie values players who love football, and Jungle Boi has the hunger to deliver on the field.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

FA Update: 4/2/13

CB Tracy Porter is a Raider.  A much needed addition will join up again with Dennis Allen.















Sounds like a 2014 5th Round pick and a conditional 2015 pick for QB Matt Flynn.

Looks like the Flynn deal is going through from Seattle.  The deal looks to involve two FUTURE picks, a 5th in 2014 and one conditional 2015 pick.  Schneider and McKenzie have a Green Bay connection, as does Flynn, so the deal is doing right by the man who will now compete for the starting QB spot in Oakland.

Palmer to Arizona now in the works...rumors are that the trade will be for a 2013 4th or 5th round pick, but a 6th would be more than enough to get the 2014 cap hit from CP3 off the books.  McKenzie is doing work...good work.

Arizona seems like they're on the brink of trading for Carson Palmer.  No idea what kind of compensation, if any, Oakland will receive.  There are some conflicting reports, so this could be nothing.















QB Matt Flynn deal seems imminent from Seattle....waiting on details.  Word is that the trade will involve a conditional 2014 pick.
















Released/Lost:
FS/CB Michael Huff, released, signed with Baltimore
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, signed with Indianapolis
OLB Philip Wheeler, signed wtth Miami
DE Matt Shaughnessy, signed with Arizona
DT Desmond Bryant, signed with Cleveland
DE Dave Tollefson, released
RB Mike Goodson, signed with New York Jets
TE Brandon Myers, signed with New York Giants
SS Mike Mitchell, signed with Carolina
P Shane Lechler, signed with Houston
DT Tommy Kelly, released

Free Agents Signed:
CB Tracy Porter, signed from Denver
OT Alex Barron, signed (last played with Dallas)
LB Kevin Burnett, signed from Miami
LB Kaluka Maiava, signed from Cleveland
DT/NT Pat Sims, signed from Cincinnati
LB Nick Roach, signed from Chicago
DE Jason Hunter, signed from Denver
DT Vance Walker, signed from Atlanta

















Likely/Possible to be released or lost:
QB Carson Palmer
DT Richard Seymour
QB Matt Leinart
FS Matt Giordano
CB Shawntae Spencer
ILB Rolando McClain

Likely to be Re-Signed:
LG Cooper Carlisle (if he doesn't retire)
DE Andre Carter
ILB Omar Gaither
WR Derek Hagan
CB Joselio Hanson

Resigned:
DB/KR Coye Francies
DB Phillip Adams
OT Khalif Barnes
LB Kaelin Burnett (exclusive rights)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prospect Profile: OT Lane Johnson - Oklahoma




Name:  Lane Johnson
Height:  6' - 6"
Weight:  303 lbs.
Class:  RSr.
Hometown:  Groveton, TX
Date of Birth:  ?/?/1989 (23-24 years old)
Prior College / High School:  Kilgore College / Groveton HS


Sooner Career:

2012:  Played in all 13 games for the Sooners including 11 starts at Left Tackle.  Named All-American Third Team by CBSSports.com and All-Big 12 Second Team by Coaches.  Academic All-Big 12 First Team.

2011:  Started 12 of 13 games at Right Tackle, had a career game in knockdowns with 10 vs. Kansas.  Missed the Tulsa game.  Named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team.

2010:  Began season as a Tight End then switched to Defensive End midway through the season.


2009:  Redshirted

2008 (Kilgore College):  Played QB at start of season and was 32/61 for 510 yards and 3 TDs...then switched to Tight End as he continued to grow.

2012 Senior Year Highlights:



2011 Junior Year Highlights:



Strengths (+):
+  Shows ridiculous upside
 Long, lean with very long arms
 Above average feet, with effortless shifting ability and recovery quicks to mirror defenders off either side of the offensive line
 Basically an OT with the athleticism of a TE
+  Outstanding Combine Numbers: Link
 Very good in space, breaks down quickly and maintains his blocks to create running lanes
 Shows excellent reach ability with his quick feet and length
 Demonstrates tenacity and ferocity, consistently finishing blocks with a mean streak
 Picks up stunts and blitzes very quickly
 Former QB with smarts, twice named Academic All-Big 12
 Seeks to be effective on blocks, doesn't care how he looks doing it
 Delivers good pop in small spaces
 Natural fit for a Zone Blocking Scheme at the next level
 Plays RT/LT rather indiscriminately
 Showed very, very well at the Senior Bowl, launching himself from a Top 40 pick into Top 10 consideration (as did CMU OT Eric Fisher)

















Weaknesses (-):
-  Limited experience as an offensive lineman, about two full years, at both Right and Left Tackle, with only one year as a blind side protector
 Has outstanding natural ability, but will need to add mass to be effective as a consistent run blocker in the NFL
 Can be beat by power moves if he doesn't establish extension
 Will need some breaking in at the NFL level

NFL Draft Outlook:
With what is considered a deep class of talent along the offensive and defensive lines, Lane Johnson has established himself as a premier prospect at the Left Tackle position.  With many teams needing blind side help in the Top 12, he should have no trouble getting drafted early.  San Diego seems to be the most likely landing spot for Johnson at this point as he's widely thought of as the 3rd best tackle prospect in this class...but perhaps...the one with the most upside.  It wouldn't surprise ORDW if Johnson turned out to be the best Offensive Tackle drafted in 2013.











Outlook as a Raider:
At No. 3, it's possible the Raiders could be looking Offensive Tackle.  They have right tackle issues, but don't really need an elite talent at Left Tackle with newly bulked up LT Jared Veldheer looking stronger and stronger.  However, while Oakland may not want to draft a Right Tackle at No. 3 Overall, there are possibilities to consider in the GM's office.  Veldheer is in a contract year.  He has far exceeded expectations since being drafted in 2012 in the 3rd Round.  On the verge of a Pro Bowl year, Veldheer will be demanding TOP, absolutely TOP DOLLAR in 2014.  He has no doubt earned it, and with Reggie making more and more cap space for the future, it would be reasonable to assume that Veldheer will be taken care of.  However, having a rookie RT, who has LT talent, in his second year (in 2014) could be an advantage in negotiating, or at the very least, provide another option on the blind side should Veldheer suddenly desire to bolt to a serious contender if Oakland's propsects at the playoffs, for whatever reason, don't look any better going into the 2014 & 2015 seasons.  Securing another top quality Tackle prospect would provide insurance and youth on what is a relatively weak OL from a LG, RG and RT standpoint.  Scenario for drafting Johnson at No. 3 are slim...unless KC goes Joeckel and JAX goes Fisher...then Johnson would be the top OT left on the board.  Reggie and Co. would than have to weigh the options left...likely Lotulelei, Jordan, Ansah, Richardson, Geno, Milliner, Werner, Floyd and Johnson.  Another possibility would be to secure a trade down in the 4-10 range.  Obviously, San Diego has to have Johnson targeted at the moment with Gaither recently being released.  While it's tough to envision getting a trade down into the 4-10 range, then again, at the No. 11 spot (San Diego), stranger things have happened...I mean, the Jets traded up for Sanchez and the Jags traded up for Gabbert...okay, rambling over.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Free Agent Tally (3.27.13)

Tommy Kelly released...and word is that the Raiders have looked into a trade for QB Matt Flynn from Seattle.

Released/Lost:
FS/CB Michael Huff, released, signed with Baltimore
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, released
OLB Philip Wheeler, signed wtth Miami
DE Matt Shaughnessy, signed with Arizona
DT Desmond Bryant, signed with Cleveland
DE Dave Tollefson, released
RB Mike Goodson, signed with New York Jets
TE Brandon Myers, signed with New York Giants
SS Mike Mitchell, signed with Carolina
P Shane Lechler, signed with Houston
DT Tommy Kelly, released

Free Agents Signed:
OT Alex Barron, signed (last played with Dallas)
LB Kevin Burnett, signed from Miami
LB Kaluka Maiava, signed from Cleveland
DT/NT Pat Sims, signed from Cincinnati
LB Nick Roach, signed from Chicago
DE Jason Hunter, signed from Denver
DT Vance Walker, signed from Atlanta
















Likely/Possible to be released or lost:
DT Richard Seymour
QB Matt Leinart
FS Matt Giordano
CB Shawntae Spencer
ILB Rolando McClain

Likely to be Re-Signed:
LG Cooper Carlisle (if he doesn't retire)
DE Andre Carter
ILB Omar Gaither
WR Derek Hagan
CB Joselio Hanson

Resigned:
DB/KR Coye Francies
DB Phillip Adams
OT Khalif Barnes
LB Kaelin Burnett (exclusive rights)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two More Visits

DraftAce is reporting that OT Luke Joeckel and DE/OLB Damontre Moore have had visits to Oakland.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Free Agent Tally (cont.): 3/23/13


Released/Lost:
FS/CB Michael Huff, released
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, released
OLB Philip Wheeler, signed wtth Miami
DE Matt Shaughnessy, signed with Arizona
DT Desmond Bryant, signed with Cleveland
DE Dave Tollefson, released
RB Mike Goodson, signed with New York Jets
TE Brandon Myers, signed with New York Giants
SS Mike Mitchell, signed with Carolina Panthers
P Shane Lechler, signed with Houston Texans

Free Agents Signed:
LB Kevin Burnett, signed from Miami
LB Kaluka Maiava, signed from Cleveland
DT/NT Pat Sims, signed from Cincinnati
LB Nick Roach, signed from Chicago
DE Jason Hunter, signed from Denver
DT, Vance Walker, signed from Atlanta

Likely/Possible to be released or lost:
DT Richard Seymour
QB Matt Leinart
FS Matt Giordano
CB Shawntae Spencer
DT Tommy Kelly
ILB Rolando McClain

Likely to be Re-Signed:
LG Cooper Carlisle (if he doesn't retire)
DE Andre Carter
ILB Omar Gaither
WR Derek Hagan
CB Joselio Hanson

Resigned:
DB/KR Coye Francies
DB Phillip Adams
OT Khalif Barnes
LB Kaelin Burnett (exclusive rights)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Roach/Walker Interviews

Thanks to RaiderCentral on YouTube:

Prospect Profile: OLB/DE Dion Jordan - Oregon




Name:  Dion Jordan
Height:  6' - 6"
Weight:  248 lbs.
Class:  Senior
Hometown:  Chandler, AZ
Date of Birth:  March 5, 1990 (23 years old)
High School:  Chandler High School

Ducks Career

2012 Senior Year:  In 12 games, amassed 44 tackles (26 solo), 10.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 1 pass broken up, 1 QB hurry and 3 fumbles forced.

2011 Junior Year:  First Team All Pac-12....played in 14 games, starting 12 and garnering 42 tackles (25 solo), 13 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 1 QB hurry and 1 fumble forced.


2010 Sophomore Year:  Made the transition from TE to DE in the spring....played in 13 games with 33 tackles (21 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass broken up and 2 QB hurries.


2010 Freshman Year:  Reserve tight end and played special teams.

2009 Redshirt Year:  Redshirted after being a highly ranked national recruit at tight end.

2012 Senior Highlights



2011 Junior Highlights




Strengths


+ Rare length / speed combination with excellent length
Very versatile defender that can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt
Extremely fluid and agile; can drop back and play in coverage
Flexible hips and good footwork allow him to stay low when rushing off the edge
Has good hand usage and uses his arm length effectively to create separation
Very good play recognition and on-field awareness
Good conditioning and consistent motor;  dangerous in backside pursuit
Gives good, consistent effort defending the run; surprisingly more physical than given credit for
Has room to add +20 lbs to his frame without losing speed or explosion


Weaknesses


- Needs to increase overall strength and bulk to his lanky frame
Has a tendency to overrun plays
Can get overpowered by bigger OL
Bit of a tweener without a true position
Minor health issues throughout his career before the torn labrum

Combine Numbers
40 Yard Dash: 4.60 sec*
Bench Press: DNP - injured shoulder
Vertical Jump: 32.5"
Broad Jump: 122.0"*
3 Cone Drill: 7.02 sec
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.35 sec*
*Top Performer

NFL Player Comparison: DE/LB Matthias Kiwanuka - New York Giants


Draft Analysis
Aside from Shariff Floyd of Florida, there is arguably no name hotter in scouting circles than Dion Jordan right now.  Recent mocks have had Jordan going as high as #2 overall to the Jaguars.  That's a lot higher than where Jordan was projected just two short months ago.  Much of it has to do with Jordan's Combine performance.  With an injured shoulder, Jordan showcased size, quickness and explosion that is rare for a guy his size.  Unlike some workout warriors, Jordan has game tape to back up his gaudy numbers.

Some scouts love Jordan's versatility to play multiple positions while others view him as a player without a true position.  There is no denying that Jordan is a special talent with a tremendous upside.  He can play off the edge as a rush LB or put his hand down as a traditional 4-3 DE.  Jordan could even play LB in a 4-3 because he's so good in space and comfortable dropping back into coverage.

The majority of Jordan's question marks have to do with his overall strength and the ability to put on (and keep) bulk on his lanky frame.  There were reports that Jordan played as light as 225 lbs last season.  Even for a lighter front seven player, Jordan does not shy away from contact and is surprisingly violent at the point of attack.  He has a pretty good arsenal of pass rush moves that will become even more effective if he can get stronger.  The added strength and being a part of a NFL strength and conditioning program can only make Jordan more of a complete player.  Jordan has the potential to be a very special player in the NFL....so much so that NFL.com's Mike Mayock compares his skill set to All-Pro Aldon Smith.  Dion Jordan is a legitimate top 10 pick.


Raiders Outlook
Unless the recent mocks hold true, Dion Jordan should be available when the Raiders pick at #3.  It has been widely rumored that new Eagles HC Chip Kelly will take Jordan with the #4 pick overall.  He's gone on record recently saying that Jordan has a "special place" in his heart as a player and person.  If the Raiders posture that they plan on taking Jordan ahead of the Eagles' pick, they could move down 1 spot and get an extra draft pick in the process.  If they don't, the Raiders could do far worse with the pick.  

As much as DT is a need on the current roster, recent history has shown that high round DTs are slow to develop and have a high tendency to bust (ie. Glenn Dorsey and Sed Ellis to name a few).  The Raiders clearly need some kind of help in the front seven.  Seeing as how Reggie McKenzie has signed 3 new LBs, it would suggest that the coming year's defense will have multiple looks.  Jordan has the versatility that would fit what Dennis Allen and DC Jason Tarver are trying to create with the defense.  All of Jordan's perceived weaknessess are correctable and there seems to be little to no known issues of work ethic or off-field problems.  It will be to no one's surprise if Dion Jordan ends up wearing a Raiders hat on draft day.


Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders

The order, with compensatory selection(s), breaks down as follows for Oakland:

Round 1:  Pick No. 3 (3rd Overall)
Round 3:  Pick No. 4 (66th Overall)
Round 4:  Pick No. 3 (100th Overall)
Round 6:  Pick No. 4 (172nd Overall)
Round 6c: Pick No. 37 (205th Overall)
Round 7: Pick No. 3 (209th Overall)
Round 7t: Pick No. 13 (219th Overall)

So, as of now, 7 selections with 3 in the Top 100.  Much better than 2012 that's for sure.

If Oakland doesn't manage a trade down in the 1st, you can bet Reggie McKenzie will be working to secure and extra 4th/5th/6th with a trade down in the 3rd.

Prospect Profile: DE Margus Hunt - SMU


SMU Profile

Name:  Margus Hunt
Height:  6' - 8"
Weight:  277 lbs.
Class:  Senior
Date of Birth:  July 14, 1987 (25 years old)
Hometown:  Karski-Nuia, Estonia

Mustangs Career

2012 Senior Year:  Started all 13 games, compiling 31 tackles (19 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 11 QB hurries, 1 interception, 2 passes broken up, 1 forced fumble and 3 blocked kicks.

2011 Junior Year: Named All C-USA honorable mention....in 13 games amassed 28 tackles (16 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks (all 3 sacks came in bowl game), 1 pass broken up and 3 blocked kicks.


2010 Sophomore Year: All C-USA honorable mention....started all 13 games, ending the season with 45 tackles (21 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 QB hurry and 3 blocked kicks.

2009 Freshman Year: Played in all 13 games as a freshman....set an NCAA record for blocked kicks with 7....8 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass break up and 1 QB hurry.

2012 Senior Highlights



2011 Junior Highlights



Strengths:
+ Elite size and athleticism at his position (6'8" 280 lbs) with room to grow
Extremely powerful with natural strength
Effective bull rusher
Uses his length to create leverage and distance to disengage
Surprisingly quick for his size with an extra burst in pursuit
Disruptive in passing lanes when he gets his hands up
Good conditioning and in-game motor
Tremendous upside


Weaknesses:
- Very inconsistent technique
Loses the battle at the line of scrimmage due to high pad level
Stiff hips and doesn't display good body bend off the edge rushing the passer
Game film doesn't match his ability
Older player (25 years old) with little football experience

NFL Player Comparison: Calais Campbell - Arizona Cardinals


Combine Numbers:
40 Yard Dash: 4.6 sec*
Bench Press: 38 reps*
Vertical Jump: 34.5"
Broad Jump: 121.0"
3 Cone: 7.07 sec
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.51 sec
* Top Performer



Draft Analysis
Margus Hunt is a freak.  Someone of his size shouldn't be running a 4.6 forty yard dash.  Someone with his length and wingspan shouldn't be lifting 225 lbs 38 times.  The problem with Hunt is that as much as his numbers would indicate that he should be Tarzan, his stats say he's more like Jane.  Its not due to a lack of effort and has everything to do with the fact that football is not a natural sport to him.  He originally enrolled at SMU in 2007 after breaking records in the track and field World Junior Championship. Where Hunt is in his development as a football player is still in an infancy state compared to the majority of the draft eligible prospects.

Hunt has undeniable talent and a huge upside.  In order to fulfill that potential, he's going to need a lot of work refining his technique to match his amazing physical ability.  I don't see him as a plug and play type of prospect.  He will start off his career as a rotational DE and contribute on special teams (see career blocked kicks).  He's going to need time and patience to develop his football talent to match his physical prowess. Though he's not as complete a football player as Calais Campbell was when he came out, Hunt possesses similar length....not too many DEs in the NFL are 6'8".  Hunt's recent Combine performance has likely catapulted his draft stock into the 2nd round and he's a prime candidate to get drafted earlier than he should.


Raiders Outlook
With the recent signings of Kevin Burnett, Nick Roach and Kaluka Maiava, it looks like Reggie McKenzie will be focusing on other areas in the draft, one of which is defensive line.  The Raiders have already lost two good players in Matt Shaughnessy and Desmond Bryant.  A boom or bust project like Hunt might be too big a risk for McKenzie unless he's available on the third day of the draft.  If he is there, a player like Hunt could really develop into a good player.  He's versatile enough to play in any defensive front and has the quickness to create mismatches.  I'm even intrigued at the possibility of Hunt being converted into a TE, similar to his former teammate Taylor Thompson who's now with the Titans.  Hunt's length and natural strength could be an asset at the position, especially in the red zone.

Free Agency Update: 3/18/13

Raiders sign another DT, Vance Walker from Atlanta...coming off a career year.  Also, the Raiders have expressed interest in TE Kellen Winslow...who appears to be healthy again.

Also, Compensatory Picks will be announced today...Raiders likely to get two awarded.  None higher than a 5th, likely 2 6th Round picks, possibly a 6th and a 7th.

RAIDERS HAVE BEEN AWARDED ONE SIXTH ROUND COMPENSATORY SELECTION.  #205 OVERALL PICK (NO. 37 OF THE SIXTH ROUND)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prospect Profile: FS Tony Jefferson - Oklahoma


University of Oklahoma Profile


Name:  Tony Jefferson
Height:  5'-11'
Weight:  213 lbs.
Class:  Junior
High School:  Eastlake HS
Date of Birth: January 27, 1992 ( 21 yrs old)
Hometown:  Chula Vista, CA

Sooners Career: 

2012 Junior Year:Started all 13 games at free safety ... named All-America Second Team by the Associated Press, CBSSports.com and FOXSportsNext.com ... named All-Big 12 First Team by AP and coaches ... named Academic All-Big 12 First Team ... ranked second in the Big 12 and led the team with 119 total tackles, the fourth-highest total in the nation by a defensive back this season ... led the Big 12 in total tackles in conference games with 91 stops ... also led the team in solo tackles and assisted tackles ... has reached double digits in tackles in seven games .. tallied a career-high 14 tackles against both Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

2011 Sophomore Year:
Honorable mention All-Big 12 by AP and coaches ... led the team with four interceptions ... third on the team with 74 tackles ... fourth on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss ... started 12 of 13 games ... career high three tackles for loss vs. Florida State as he finished with a team-high eight tackles ... tied an OU single-game record with three interceptions vs. Ball State ... picks ended three consecutive BSU drives ... had an interception and a sack vs. Texas ... tied for a team-high six tackles vs. Kansas State including one sack ... ended the regular season with nine tackles at Oklahoma State ... had nine games with at least five tackles.

2010 Freshman Year:Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year ... first team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and CollegeFootballNews.com ... started nine of 14 games as a fifth defensive back ... had a career-high 12 tackles at Cincinnati ... broke up three passes against Florida State ... had one sack vs. Nebraska ... recovered a fumble against Missouri ... picked off a pass at Baylor ... had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl victory.


2012 Junior Highlights:



2011 Sophomore Highlights:


2010 Freshman Highlights:


Strengths (+) : 

+ Versatile can line up anywhere in defensive backfield
+ Shows he can play man and zone
+ Showed improvement in all facets year to year
+ Aggressive
+ Good closing speed
+ Good change of direction
+ Does a good job locating and attacking the ball
+ Can blitz
+ Has the range to play sideline to sideline
+ Strong hitter
+ Solid against the run
+ Good tackler despite the negatives below
+ Could be a great special teams given his aggressive nature

Weaknesses (-) :

- Goes for the big hit too much and fails to wrap up (technique issue?)
- Aggressiveness can sometimes cause him to miss his plays (i.e., takes bad angles)
- Not as big a FS as would be useful against the likes of Graham/Gronk
- Lacks elite speed

Raiders Outlook:

Reggie Mckenzie had scouts at two school's games the most this past season: West Virginia and Oklahoma. So the Raiders' scouts saw a lot of Tony Jefferson this year. Whether he was their focus or not we're likely never to know for sure. Most drafting sites seem to have him projected as a solid 3rd Rounder. If Jefferson is still there when the Raiders pick early in the 3rd he could be a good option to replace the recently cut Michael Huff and fill the gigantic void next to SS Tyvon Branch. 

There are quite a few good-to-great safeties in this draft and Tony Jefferson may not be among them with his negatives (shorter stature, lacking elite speed, etc.) likely turning off some teams. The reason I believe the Raiders could be interested is that Reggie, Head Coach Dennis Allen, and Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver all seem to heavily value a players versatility. Almost valuing Swiss Army Knife type players over those who are really good at one thing. Tony Jefferson lined up as a deep safety, in the box, covered TEs, and covered WRs outside and in the slot.

The key to Jefferson's success in the pros, either with the Raiders or another team, is going to be based on how effectively his DC is able to focus that aggressiveness. When Jefferson uses good technique and is "on" he can be a force at FS, crushing ballcarriers, making interceptions and shutting down receivers. 



HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Céad Míle Fáilte!

Official: Kevin Burnett is a Raider

IN RAIDER NEWS, IT IS SUSPECTED THAT RECENTLY RELEASED DOLPHIN LB KEVIN BURNETT WAS IN FOR A VISIT...



Friday, March 15, 2013

FA Tally thus far...(3/20/2013)

Released/Lost:
FS/CB Michael Huff, released
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, released
OLB Philip Wheeler, signed wtth Miami
DE Matt Shaughnessy, signed with Arizona
DT Desmond Bryant, signed with Cleveland
DE Dave Tollefson, released
RB Mike Goodson, signed with New York Jets
TE Brandon Myers, signed with New York Giants

Free Agents Signed:
LB Kevin Burnett, signed from Miami
LB Kaluka Maiava, signed from Cleveland
DT/NT Pat Sims, signed from Cincinnati
LB Nick Roach, signed from Chicago
DE Jason Hunter, signed from Denver
DT, Vance Walker, signed from Atlanta





Likely/Possible to be released or lost:
DT Richard Seymour
QB Matt Leinart
P Shane Lechler
FS Matt Giordano
CB Shawntae Spencer
DT Tommy Kelly
ILB Rolando McClain

Likely to be Re-Signed:
LG Cooper Carlisle (if he doesn't retire)
DE Andre Carter
ILB Omar Gaither
WR Derek Hagan
CB Joselio Hanson

Bubble:
SS Mike Mitchell

Resigned:
DB/KR Coye Francies
DB Phillip Adams
OT Khalif Barnes