I wasn't sure if Rich would let me call this Pirate Booty (even though it makes sense) so I decided to pass on that name. However, what I'm talking about is booty in the truest sense - our latest haul of undrafted free agents, our potential diamonds in the rough. Every year teams bring these guys into training camp with the hope of finding the next Jeff Saturday or Wes Welker (or at least some live bodies to practice against).
This year's UDFA scramble was even more frenetic than usual, with the lockout leaving a majorly tight window to sign these guys in. While our Raiders were a little slow at first, we've more than caught up. Check out our current booty after the jump....
Sterling Moore (CB, Southern Methodist)
Moore worked out with us before the draft, and clearly big Al and Hue like what they saw enough to invite him back. He's a typical Al Davis athletic CB, but has struggled with injuries throughout his college career. If he can show good man coverage skills, he's a chance to make the final roster (Especially if Nnamdi leaves, God forbid, and we cut Chris Johnson). Side note: He's also an Oakland boy and grew up a Raiders fan, so that might count for something.
Alan Pelc (G, UNC)
Pelc played both guard positions during his time at UNC. He's a big strong lad (6'6" and 325 lbs) who doesn't have the athleticism to be very successful in the NFL, but his technique is decent, he never takes a play off and he can pave roads in the run game. I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the practice squad after training camp, especially with our move back to power blocking.
Eddie McGee (WR/Slash, Illinois)
McGee played all over the field during his college career, but appears to see his NFL future at WR. I don't know much about him, but he's big (6'3", 207) and runs a 4.52 40 at Illinois' Pro Day which is probably what intrigued Al. Given our young depth at WR I can't see him going too far with us, unless Chaz gets hurt again and he shows enough to be an NFL possession receiver.
Bani Ghabdyu (WLB, Penn State)
Wonder if the Wisnewski connection played any part here. Gbadyu played weakside LB in Penn State's 4-3 defense. Watching Penn State last year, my impression was that he's athletic, covers well and while powerfully built, doesn't always play like it. He doesn't shed blocks that well, doesn't hit that hard (although he's a pretty safe tackler) and has poor instincts for the ball. Given our issues at LB, though, he has a legit shot of making the final roster, as a special-teams guy if nothing else.
Mason Brodine (DE, Nebraska-Kearney)
Brodine's story evokes Danny Woodhead in many ways - they even hail from the same state. This link should tell you more about him. As good as our DL depth is (especially since we re-signed Moss this morning) we could always use a few more bodies, and a guy with his obvious drive and determination to go with his football skills (he holds his school sack record) could well surprise us all. Needs to bulk up though - he's 6'7" and 255 which won't cut it as a 4-3 DE in the NFL.
Ben Lamaak (C/G, Iowa State)
Lamaak's played all over the line in his four years, after being recruited as a tight end and quarterback. Clearly he doesn't lack versatility or athleticism for a big boy (6'4" and 318), although he's not going to play tackle in the NFL. A hard working, blue-collar sort who's proved himself as a pass blocker in the Cyclones' spread offense, although his run blocking needs to get better. Don't forget his name - he could well become our Jeff Saturday.
James McCluskey (FB, Boston College)
We missed out on the other BC UDFA, but at least we got one. Given that we don't have a fullback on the roster at this point in time - Reece is a free agent and some team looking for a weapon at FB might make him an offer Al doesn't want to match. More likely, though, McCluskey is just a training camp body. He's an old-school blocking fullback who can occasionally carry the ball. Wasn't a major option in the BC passing offense.
Lou Eliades (T, Penn State)
Not sold on this guy as an NFL tackle - has the body and skill for it, but can't seem to put it all together. I suspect he was mostly brought in because he was Wiz's old teammate on the Penn State line. He works hard and has nice technique, but can't handle speed rushers and doesn't run block very well. Will be cut during training camp.
Jordan La Secla (QB, San Jose State)
We didn't get my boy Josh Portis (he's headed to Seattle) but La Secla is a pretty good option. He's struggled with lousy receivers at San Jose State, but he has a strong arm and can extend plays in the pocket. He's also apparently very good at selling ball fakes, useful for an offense like ours which runs a lot of play-action. Wouldn't mind seeing him as our third QB come the regular season.
Chris Francis (LB, Baylor)
I haven't seen much of this guy and can't find much info on him, but if he has a good training camp he's a pretty fair shot at making the final roster given our LB issues.
Derrick Jones (WR/KR, California of Pennsylvania)
Typical Al Davis athletic receiver who's unlikely to make the final roster unless, once again, we have a breakdown from Chaz, or Taiwan struggles with his return responsibilities. We got the wrong Cal of Penn guy.
Zac Ethridge (S, Auburn)
Given our potential issues at safety (Huff maybe on the way out) Ethridge is an interesting prospect, but he's probably not athletic enough to play free safety in the NFL. He plays a lot like Mike Mitchell - not the greatest athlete, but solid against the run and can hit hard. Don't see him going too far with us though.
Steven Goulet (WR, Ohio University)
We get a Mike Mitchell copy, and then we go for a guy from his alma mater. I'm not really sure why we're getting in all these receivers though.
On the whole, I'm pretty happy with the haul so far. I'd like to see another QB brought in, and maybe a free safety prospect, but otherwise I can't complain. Would have loved Herzlich and Portis though, as I've said ad nauseum.
Also, we re-signed Jarvis Moss for one year and $1.25 million. I can't complain about this move for that price. Moss provided good depth for us at DE last year, he wants to be here and he knows the system, which is a big help with the training camp situation.
I wrote this whole piece in a lecture, so it better be appreciated. Screwfish out.