East Carolina vs. Ohio
This wasn't exactly a barn burner, but it was an entertaining game to watch none the less. Not many draft prospects were expected out of either school, so I was mainly watching to see if any hidden gems were out and about trying to make an impact and maybe move into the draft boards.
Expected: This is what round the player is expected to be drafted.
Fit with the Raiders: Great Fit- We should actively look to pick up this player; Good Fit- Worth picking if no great fit players are available; Average Fit- If the conditions are right, worth giving a shot. Value has to be right because there is a decent possibility that they won't work out; Poor Fit- Only draft if this players is hands down the BPA and there's no other options available since there is a high probability they won't make the roster; Terrible Fit: Drafting this player would be a mistake as there's next to no chance they make the roster and would be a wasted pick.
Successful Draft Eligible Players
This section is for players going into the draft who had a bowl game worthy of mentioning. Expected UDFA's who make a great impression will be included. (For high profile players, footage from other games will also be taken into consideration).
1. Damon Magazu- FS- East Carolina
Had a good bowl game with an interception and 4 solo tackles. He has a good awareness for where the ball is, and he had 5 interceptions this year. The guy is a ball hawk with good hands. When the SS bit on a run fake, Foster got behind the DB's, which includes Magazu, for an 80 yard touchdown. This play did leave some question marks, but ultimately it was the SS assignment, and by the time Magazu adjusted it was too late. Aside from that, he's got 80 total tackles on the year and has proven to be productive for EC.
Expected: 7th round
Fit with the Raiders: Good Fit. Woodson is on the older side and we could use a FS to learn under him. If we haven't picked up a FS by the 6-7th round, Magazu seems like a viable option if he's the best player available. I wouldn't say we should be jumping at him, but I think he's done enough to warrant a 7th round pick as expected should he be available. If he falls through the cracks and goes undrafted we should definitely try to get him to camp as an UDFA.
2. Vintavious Cooper- RB- East Carolina
Had a great bowl game, good ability to run after hit, acceleration is good, and quick change in direction. 25 carries for 198 yards (7.9 YPC) and 2 touchdowns. 3 catches for 22 yards. Fell just short of 1200 yards rushing this season. Averaged 5.2 YPC, and any game he had more than 20 attempts he had an average higher than 4.0 (6 games with +20 attempts 4.8, 5.3, 4.0, 6.7, 4.7, 7.9). Of those 6 games, only 1 team ended with a record below .500
Fit with the Raiders: Good fit. Rashad Jennings will be the starting running back for the 2014 season barring any free agency set back. Latavius Murray will be coming off his injury reserved rookie season, so he's a relative unknown. If the Raiders don't take anybody in the draft at RB, there could be a spot for Cooper to compete for the backup job.
3. Donte Foster- WR- Ohio
Also had a great bowl game- 160 yards, 6 catches with a long of 80 yards. He was able to break away from coverage and displayed good ball instincts. He had 1018 yards at Ohio, but the reality is he only had a few good performances against winning teams, and his production fell off at the end of the season due to some injuries (thumb, back). I'd be interested to see his workout scores if they are available before the draft.
Fit with the Raiders: Poor fit. We have 7 wide receivers on the roster. Of that, Jacoby Ford is the senior player with just 4 years of experience. To say we have a young receiver squad is an understatement. Not only that, but there's little chance Foster could come in an even consider being a true #1 receiver for Oakland, which is really all we are looking for at this position. If he comes into came as an UDFA and really proves himself worthwhile, he could win the spot over the likes of Ford (who has chronically underperformed), Butler (who has shown little progress since preseason), or Criner (who has practically been forgotten about because he was supposed to be a slot receiver but doesn't seem to have the hands for it). So Foster doesn't seem like he would fit here, but I think from what I saw he's worth bringing to camp if nobody picks him up late.
Players Falling Short
This section is for players who are expected to be drafted who did not live up to their expectations during the bowl game. This is based on draft expectations. (Expected UDFA won't be included).
1. Derrell Johnson- OLB- East Carolina
He was practically invisible during the bowl game with just 1 assisted sack. His best game was against Marshall (9-4) where he had 2 sacks and 10 total tackles. He doesn't produce much pressure, and he doesn't do much in the way of breaking up passes or picks. His overall production over the season might have warranted a draft projection, but his play in the bowl game says otherwise.
Expected: 6-7th round
Fit with the Raiders: Terrible fit. We will have plenty of depth at the linebacker position by the time the draft starts and even more before the draft is over. Not even worth a look as an UDFA.
This section is for players who aren't in the 2014 draft, but showed up in the bowl game to make an impact. As a result, they may warrant being looked at down the line to see if they really do have the skills necessary.
1. Isaiah Jones- WR- True Freshman, East Carolina
Jones really showed up in the bowl game against Ohio. I managed to find his stats for the year as of 12/24/2013, and I was surprised to see he had 63 receptions this year for 604 yards and 5 touchdowns. It seems clear he is off to a quick start as a freshman, and from what I saw; he has the skills necessary to succeed at WR. In the bowl game against Ohio he had 8 catches for 48 yards. While that stat line itself doesn't seem very impressive, it was the way he did it. He was a reliable target and was clearly able to be counted on in critical situations. But more impressive than that, the last game of the season they played Marshall (9-4), where he caught 9 passes for 123 yards. Between his stats for the year and what I watched, he's a player to keep an eye on to see how he develops.
(NOTE: First I wanted to say I will be doing one to two of these a day. It should last till close to the end of January. I plan to get every bowl game down. With high draft picks like 3rd round and up I will likely include play from more than just the bowl game when forming my opinion. For lower picks I haven't heard of before I will likely go by how they played in that game alone. Also, I'm terrible at formatting, so any suggestions/help is appreciated.)