Ed Wesley #34 of the TCU Horned Frogs
Last season the Raiders were the only team to participate in the NFL supplemental draft. They chose Terrelle Pryor in the third round and he was the only player chosen by any team. This year, there are eight players who have declared eligible for the supplemental draft which occurs July 12. The question becomes if the Raiders may choose one.
There are three players in supplemental draft who stand out. The first is Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Gordon is seen as by far the most talented player in the supplemental draft. Scouts had him graded as a round two prospect following his sophomore season. He now carries a third round grade and is projected as going in either the third or fourth round of the supplemental draft.
The thing is though, the Raiders don't need a receiver. Gordon may be a "Best player available" type guy but the Raiders are stacked at the position. They currently have Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, and Louis Murphy returning along with fifth round rookie Juron Criner and undrafted rookie Rod Streater both impressing in camp. There will have to be some tough cuts as it is with players like Eddie McGee and Duke Calhoun both pushing to make the squad.
McMurray wide receiver, Houston Tuminello, has also declared eligible but the same thing applies with regard to the Raiders being set at receiver.
The next best player eligible is TCU running back Ed Wesley. There is a need at running back, however, it is a need for a big back to replace the services formerly provided by Michael Bush. Wesley is 5-9, 200 pounds and the Raiders already have two backs who are taller and of similar size to Wesley-- Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson.
The addition of Wesley would not fill a role which the Raiders need, he would just add competition to an already competitive backfield. Not to say that would be a bad thing but it is certainly not a need worthy of using a draft pick. Welsey is viewed as a 4-5 round prospect.
Gordon and Wesley are the only two players expected to be drafted.
After those two, we switch to simple needs by the Raiders. The Raiders glaring need remains linebacker. There is only one linebacker in this group-- Larry Lumpkin out of Division II Carson-Newman.
Lumpkin comes with plenty of his own issues. He originally played football at Alabama A&M and transferred to Carson-Newman after two seasons with the Bulldogs. He hadn't joined the original draft because he intended on staying for his senior season at Carson-Newman. However, he was ruled academically ineligible and threw his hat into the ring for the supplemental draft.
Lumpkin's issues with his grades are not a matter of intelligence, according to his former coaches. It is the same issues that had him transferring from Alabama A&M, which is discipline.
"Larry was a playmaker for us, but he had a lot of issues," Lumpkin's former linebacker coach Jay Martin said. "He was constantly late for meetings and he would miss practice at least one day a week.
"He was very undisciplined. He would have helped us, but he didn't want to be here."
While the free agent signing by the Raiders this offseason have not focused on character, the Raiders draft picks have. Players like Larry Lumpkin are the type Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders are staying away from. There have been two teams who have reported interest in Lumpkin-- the Broncos and Cowboys-- but the interest is said to be as an undrafted free agent.
Here are the remaining players:
Boise State DB Quaylon Ewing- Didn't start until his junior season in which he had four starts as an injury replacement. He was dismissed for "failure to live up the standards of the program" which doesn't sound good. Not much of any value here.
Syracuse FB Adam Harris- Was dismissed from the Syracuse football team because of concussion issues. He was recently cleared by doctors to resume playing football but the concussions are still a concern. The Raiders have their starting fullback in Marcel Reece. Behind him they have Owen Schmitt, Manase Tonga, and Rashawn Jackson vying for the backup fullback position.
Iowa State T Adrian Haughton- Like so many other supplemental draft prospects, he was dismissed from his college team for one reason or another. He played tackle at Iowa State and is seen as guard in the pros. His size, 6-3, 338 pounds, may have a team or two take notice but with the Raiders running zone, that size won't matter much.
Georgia DE Montez Robinson- A backup defensive end/linebacker who was arrested twice in the past year, the second on battery charges. He was suspended after the first arrest and kicked off the team following the second arrest. After being kicked off the team, Robinson was arrested for drug possession, trespassing, and obstruction of a law enforcement official. That is a man who is destined to spend some time being iron, not on the gridiron. As I said, the Raiders have no interest in this kind of headache.
So it appears not only will the Raider not be using a draft pick on any of these players but they are unlikely to use one of their two open roster spots to sign any of them as undrafted free agents either.