Hello Raider Nation,
This man I'm introducing you to will be the steal of the draft for the Raiders. For those of you who don't know, this is Jonas Gray, a running back from the University of Notre Dame. Now, let me start by saying I am a bit biased. I have co-favorite NCAA teams of Alabama and Notre Dame. I have watched almost every carry of Gray's career. On Senior Day, November 19th, Gray tore his ACL, officially ending the best season of his career, and the best season of a Notre Dame running back in at least 5 years.
In 2011, he had 791 yards on 114 carries, with an amazing 12 touchdowns. This was good for about a touchdown every 9.5 carries. He was by far the best back on a team that has Cierre Wood, who could be a potential 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2013. He had a nose for the endzone, and despite not being outstanding at anything, he rose up boards. His chance of being drafted was shattered with his ACL, so he will be an undrafted free agent. He's too risky to draft for every GM in the league.
But not for me. I'm sold Jonas Gray will be a solid back in the NFL, despite having his best season in a college offense. He reminds me a lot of a smaller Michael Bush, a BenJarvus Green-Ellis type. Oakland right now needs a durable back with a nose for the endzone to back up Darren McFadden. We've seen stranger things before. Did anyone see Victor Cruz coming? How about LeGarrette Blount? Or even AFC Championship hero Sterling Moore, the worst cut in Raider history. I am so sold on him I'd go ahead and take him in the 6th round, but we don't need to. He will be a successful back wherever he goes. I'm not implying Jonas Gray is the clear cut #2 back on Oakland's roster, but I feel he will far outweigh the cost of grabbing him, whether undrafted or a compensation 7th rounder.