Oregon State vs. Boise State
So this game certainly wasn't what we would call competitive. Oregon State gave a beating to Boise State, and scoreboard doesn't even tell the whole story. At one point in the game, Oregon was up 38-6. I have to say, Oregon can thank their defense for this one because they really showed up. Two of their five touchdowns came off defensive fumble returns. They were completely disrupting the Boise offense for a large portion of the game. Certain players were responsible for that performance, so let's get right into it.
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. Scott Crichton- DE Oregon State
Crichton had a good game, well for the most part. On the season he's played fairly consistent. He had 47 total tackles, 19 tackles for a loss with 7.5 sacks. He's got a few QB hurries and 3 forced fumbles this season. One of those forced fumbles came in the bowl game, in the endzone no less. That resulted in the first of two TD's for the defense. Crichton had solid moves off the line and looked like he could make something of himself in the NFL given time. He did have a couple off side penalties jumping the gun a bit. Also, anytime he went up against Charles Leno (LT, Boise State) he was essentially stopped in his tracks. At first I thought maybe Crichton wasn't all that good, but he really seemed to have no problem against anybody else and made good tackles otherwise.
Expected: 2-3rd round
Fit for the Raiders: Average/poor fit. This isn't a knock against Crichton; I think he has a place in the NFL. I just think that he is expected to go too high for where he is right now. This might be a result of how he got handled by Leno for large portions of the game, but if he has that happen when he gets to the NFL, he's not going to be a difference maker right off the bat. 2nd to 3rd round picks, you're looking for somebody who can come in and have an impact. Crichton won't be that guy, not in his rookie year at least. If he were to drop to our 5th round pick, you can start to make an argument for him.
2. Rashaad Reynolds- CB Oregon State
This man had himself a game today. Two fumbles recovered for TD's, one of them he returned for about 70 yards. I believe that won him MVP of the game honors. He's got 61 total tackles on the season with 6 interceptions. This game he had a couple fumble recoveries for TD's, 10 total tackles (8 solo), and a beautiful pass broken up. He was right on the guy, right on his back without getting any sort of interference, then when the pass came he reached right passed the guy and knocked it down. It was a thing of beauty. On some plays he looked like he was having a little trouble keeping coverage, but not by much. I'd be curious to see some of his combine scores. He looks like he's on course for an NFL career.
Expected: 5th round
Fit for the Raiders: Good fit. I like this. He's probably not ready to come in and be an impactful force right away, but as a 5th round prospect he's a perfect project player. The only thing I want to see first is how he does on his drills. If his physical abilities are up to par for the position, I would love to see us take him in the 5th round, maybe earlier if we get another later 4th round pick. I'm not raving about him, but I like the potential.
3. Charles Leno- OT Boise State 5-6th round
Hold the phones and grab onto your hats because we got a sleeper pick here. Offensive tackles aren't going to win MVP honors in a game, but damn did Leno sure make a push for it. If you're a QB and need a guy to watch your blind side, you can sleep easy if you've got Leno over to your left. All game he just dominated his guy. It didn't matter who it was, whether the guy wanted to spin or do a swim move, whatever; Leno was having none of it. He had a hold on one play when the RB tried to get too fancy in the backfield and Leno grabbed onto a second guy who was about to get back there. Also, on another play he knocked one rusher clean onto his knees, but the QB held onto the ball so long that the defender had time to get back on his feet then rush over to the QB and make the tackle. That's about as close as I can get to naming off his "mistakes". When you're mistake is putting a guy into the dirt and not keeping him there for the entire play, you know you had a good day. Not only that but he SHUT Crichton DOWN. I mean, every time Crichton played against another offensive lineman, he looked great. Crichton goes up against Leno; time and time again he got shut down one on one. Leno is strong. He knows the position and showed good instinct. Once he was on a guy, he was ON him. Leno did show one weakness though. He has a tough time blocking in the secondary. Every time he would release his rusher and try to run up field to get a block on a linebacker or a screen, he looked too slow. That being said, you can't call him strictly a pass blocker. The reason is he only has trouble blocking while on the move. If you put him at the line and tell him to push a guy back, he will do just that. On multiple running plays I watched him drive a defender straight back right onto their ass. Impressive doesn't even begin to describe what I saw out of Leno.
Expected: 5-6th round
Fit for the Raiders: Great/good fit. I'm sitting here scratching my head how this guy is all the way down in the 5th to 6th round. He went up against a 2nd to 3rd round projected DE and dominated him. He also dominated however else was dumb enough to get in his way. I know we have Jared Veldheer. I don't care. I know we drafted Menelik Watson. I still don't care. We shouldn't be deciding if we are going to draft him, what we should be deciding is how far down we can get away with not drafting him. I don't want to spend more value than we have to on him, but at the same time, this guy looked like a diamond in the rough. If that argument isn't enough for you then let me just add this last little bit of information to put you over the edge. HE'S FROM OAKLAND!
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. Brandin Cooks- WR Oregon State
He didn't have a bad bowl game. He had 8 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown catch. He also had 4 carries for 29 yards, most of which came for one really good 29 yard run. While he had some good moves and decent ability, he didn't really set himself apart this game. Also, he had trouble really breaking away from coverage. His production throughout the season explains why he is ranked as high as he is. With 128 receptions on the season he racked up 1,730 yards with 16 TD's. That includes three performances against top 25 teams where he had 9 catches for 99 yards (#16 Arizona St.), 10 catches for 110 yards (#10 Oregon), and 9 catches for 80 yards with a TD (#5 Stanford). That being said, stat lines aren't everything, and what I saw of him in this bowl game was not the type of explosive #1 receiver you would expect from a second round pick.
Expected: 2nd round
Fit for the Raiders: Poor/Terrible fit. He's not a terrible player, but he's by no means 2nd round quality. If they said 5th round, I could understand how a team would want him, but he still would be a poor fit for the Raiders. He would likely struggle to find himself in the line-up. Sure, he could probably beat out the likes of Greg Jenkins and Juron Criner, but we aren't spending a 2nd to 3rd round pick for a backup.
2. Demarcus Lawrence- DE Boise State
This guy had a truly bad game. His stats for this game were 5 tackles with 1 tackle for a loss, which on paper doesn't sound bad. When you watch him though, he just doesn't look good. He was routinely getting beat one on one. Every time I saw him trying to make a play he was just getting beat. Overpowered, outworked, and not fast enough to get involved. Not only that, but he wasn't an every down guy either. I don't know if he's doesn't have the conditioning to play every down or if that's how it's schemed, but either way that's not good. When you get in there you have to make the most of it but Lawrence did no such thing. They played one ranked team this season (#21 Fresno St.) and he was non-existent in that game too. Most of his decent stats for the season came off of subpar opponents.
Expected: 3-4th round
Fit for the Raiders: Terrible fit. There's too many better DE to even warrant looking at him further. Somebody will waste a pick on this guy, but I sure hope it isn't us.
3. Jay Ajayi- RB Boise State
Ajayi had about as average a game as he could have had. He had 23 carries for 97 yards, but he wasn't really playing a top tier team. There wasn't a lot of explosiveness to him, and he frequently seemed to have trouble taking it to that next level. He played one top 25 team this season where he had a dismal 20 carries for 54 yards with a TD (#21 Fresno St.). His season stats look good on paper, but when you fall flat twice against competition, that's not a good sign. Based on what I saw, he was the definition of average. There was nothing memorable about his performance. He's not a playmaker.
Expect: 4-5th round
Fit for the Raiders: Terrible fit. Short of going as an UDFA, I can't see him being worth a look. He plays very average ball against decent college teams, how is he going to perform against NFL talent. Not good I imagine. I don't really see him making it in the NFL if that's the best he can do. I guess he could come in as a camp body... maybe.
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. Jeremy Ioane- Safety Boise State Junior
This safety out of Boise State had a good game. He had 8 tackles this game, and he looked good doing it. He was all over the field and tried to get involved. One downside though; twice against short goal line runs from the running backs, he got run over. He was simply overpowered. This is a concern, but I still think he's worth watching.
2. Donte Deayon- CB Boise State Sophomore
He covered Brandin Cooks (projected 2nd round pick) and managed to play a pretty good game. He made some good tackles this game and hit pretty well. He had 54 total tackles this season with 3 tackles for a loss. He also had 6 interceptions and 9 passes broken up. One of those interceptions came in this game. He made a good grab and managed to stay inbounds while doing it. He's definitely worth watching to see how he progresses.