BYU vs. Washington
This was a pretty exciting game with a good deal of talented players. BYU has a hurry up offense that is something impressive in and of itself. Washington though, they aren't scrubs and came to play. Washington won it 31-16, but the game felt much more competitive than some of the games I've watched this bowl season. Some players really showed up to play this game, so let's get to 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. Bishop Sankey- RB Washington
Sankey had a good game. State wise it was nothing stand out, but there was something special about the way he moved. In the game he had 21 carries for 95 yards with 2 TD's. On the season he had 327 carries for 1870 yard with 20 TD's. That's damn impressive considering he played 4 top 25 teams (#5 Stanford, # 10 Oregon, #16 Arizona State, and #17 UCLA). He had a couple plays where his ability to make cut moves really impressed. The one that stands out the most is where Sankey made a quick cut move that put Van Noy right on his ass as he ran in for a TD. Sankey also has tremendous vision. I think that's probably his single greatest strength. He looked practically psychic the way he could fit holes and make tacklers miss. I liked his style. Unfortunately, I equally didn't like his speed. He looked slow. I don't know how big of a impact this will have on his performance as a pro.
Expected: 2nd round
Fit for the Raiders: Poor fit. This is entirely due to his second round draft expectation. This could change when he goes to the combine because I think his draft prospects are going to slide. I think he's going to show speed that isn't up to snuff. If he falls to the 4th round I think we should take him as a reliable back up. I don't think he's going to be a game changer; I don't think he's fast/quick enough. I do think that he can contribute to the team and add stability at the running back position. Every star running back needs a back-up to relieve them now and then.
2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins- TE Washington
He's a pretty solid looking TE. He had some really nice looking catches. He's a big guy at 6'6" and 276 pounds. Despite that, he looks to have decent speed and good blocking. He made a great TD catch where he caught the pass that went right over the head of a defender. He had 3 catches for 37 yards and a TD this game. This season he had 36 receptions for 450 yards with 8 TD's. They have played a lot of stiff competition this year and he's been a consistent guy in terms of production.
Expected: 1-2nd round
Fit for the Raiders: Good fit. It isn't hard to see why he's a 1st to 2nd round draft prospect. I can't see much to dislike about him. Now as for the Raiders, we have some okay TE's but nobody that has really set themselves out as a clear number one. This has been the case since Zach Miller left. We look pretty decent at WR, but I think if we want to pick up a solid TE, this is the guy to go with. That being said, I don't think we will. I think we will want to develop the TE's we picked up last year. Either way, he's worth considering if you want to talk about TE prospects.
3. Kyle Van Noy- OLB BYU
It's hard not to like Van Noy. He has great tackling technique. From what I've seen, he doesn't really look like a rusher. He has a great eye for filling gaps which led to him making some great plays this game. On one play, it was 4th down with the other team within 10 yards of the goal line. Van Noy got off the snap so fast he blew right by the TE that was supposed to block him, bounced off the FB who couldn't get there quick enough, and took the RB down for a loss. To make a play like that, in that situation, it was huge. While his tackling is solid, his ability to make quick lateral movements is suspect. On one play, Washington running back Sankey made a cut move that put Van Noy right on his ass. Van Noy was a bit out of position through his own doing and as a result couldn't make the proper turn to complete the tackle when Sankey made his move. All in all I think he had a very good performance. He finished the night with 7 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. On the season he had 7 passes broken up, 10 QB hurries, 17 tackles for a loss with 4 of them being sacks, and 67 total tackles on the season. He also had 2 interceptions.
Expected: 1-2nd round
Fit for the Raiders: Average fit. I like him. I think he's a good player. I think he will be a solid role player for whatever team picks him up. He won't be a liability in coverage and he will do a good job filling running lanes at the line. I don't think he's going to be a big impact player who defenses will have to specifically game plan for. I think he's going to be drafted higher than we can afford to pick him up. We need to try and find real impact players with our 1-2 round picks. Van Noy isn't going to provide our team with what we need at the draft position he's at.
4. Cody Hoffman- WR BYU
He had a great bowl game. He really knew how to put on some moves after the catch. It seemed like he had a real knack for where the defender was and how to make him miss once the ball was caught. He also made good catches in coverage. I was surprised to see how low his production was throughout the season. Looking through his previous season stats, it looks as though defenses have really put the pressure up on him as his stats this year have dropped some. Nevertheless, the skills he displayed in this bowl game were impressive. He had 12 catches this game for 167 yards. That put him at 57 catches with 894 yards and 5 TD's this season.
Expect: 5th round
Fit for the Raiders: Average/poor fit. Despite his good performance, skill set, and relatively low draft slot, we simply don't have a spot for him on our roster. If our WR situation were different, I would definitely argue taking him in the 5th-6th round. Unfortunately, he looks like a good late round draft player that we just don't have a use for.
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. Kaneakua Friel- TE BYU
He was invisible this game. He made no receptions and no impressive blocks. I kept waiting to see him make some play, be it a tough block or some sort of catch, but nothing. He had just 11 catches on the season for 128 yards with 1 TD.
Expected: 7th round
Fit for the Raiders: Terrible fit. Take his lack of production throughout the season, combine it with his stealth act during the bowl game... well, he certainly didn't make a case for him to be drafted. I think Austin on the other side of the ball made him look even worse.
2. Sean Parker- SS Washington
I don't think he looked good this game. In particular, his tackling technique looked poor. On a couple of the tackles, it was a stroke of luck the player even went down. He didn't seem like a hard hitter either. He had one pass deflected, but the ball was thrown behind the receiver, and honestly it would have been unforgiveable if he DIDN'T get a hand on the ball as it was nearly thrown right to him. He finished the night with 7 total tackles and a pass deflected.
Expected: 7th round
Fit for the Raiders: Terrible fit. I didn't see anything from him that was stand out NFL talent, and his tackling technique is a liability.
3. Eathyn Manumaleuna- DT BYU
He looked bad. He got no push on most plays, despite being one on one. He wasn't making a lot of effort in terms of moves to get inside. His play throughout the game was very unimpressive. He had just 1 assisted tackle this game. He has no sacks and just one QB hurry all season.
Expected: 5th round
Fit for the Raiders: Terrible fit. No way do we waste a 5th round pick or any pick on this guy for that matter. I saw absolutely nothing to justify how he got such a high designation. He didn't look good in the bowl game; he has pretty poor production numbers as well. Maybe there just aren't a lot of good DT's in this draft. I don't know, but it doesn't justify wasting a pick on him.
4. Kasen Williams- WR Washington
Williams was out but his production wasn't amazing when he was around.
Expected: 3rd round
Fit for the Raiders: Terrible fit. Given our situation at WR, I don't see a reason to take a serious look at Williams.
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.
I saw a couple players make a play or two that was good, but when I put somebody under this section it's for underclassmen that make multiple impressive plays that set them apart from the rest of their team. I didn't see anything like that this game. (Though, I have to give a shout out to John Ross of Washington for his 104 yard kickoff return; good job freshmen.)