Projected mid round OLineman could draw Raiders attention

The one common theme among the players brought in by Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie so far has been that they are high character players. There is one Offensive Lineman specifically that may be a perfect fit with Reggie for that very reason.

His name is Luke Marquardt and he is out of little Azusa Pacific University.

APU is a school that hasn't had a player drafted since 1987 but that player drafted is a memberable one -- The Nigerian Nightmare, Christian Okoye. He would have probably enjoyed having Luke Marquardt blocking for him.

Luke is the son of missionaries and Azusa Pacific is a Christian school. The religious background of Luke is one tht is considered a plus by both Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen. His 6'8 315 pound body that still has room to grow might catch their attention even more.

While looking at the combine results on NFL.com for the bench presses performed by the OL's and TE's today you may have come across Luke's 31 bench presses. It is certainly a high enough total to make one interested enough to check out their scouting report on him, and it is not a bad one.

One thing very interesting about him in that report is he has Hall of Fame OL Jackie Slater as his coach. Another interesting point in the report is he originally wanted to play basketball coming out of high school before agreeing to play football as a TE. His athleticism is apparent when looking at his build, and his love of basketball is easily understandable considering his 6'8" height.

He isn't projected as a higher draft pick because he has had injury problems including having just missed the entire 2012 season. He started every game at LT for 2010 and 2011 but that was after he had broke his foot as a true freshman too. That is an especially scary injury for an offensive lineman, although the injury did help him find his true calling within the trenches.

Even with his injury history he could certainly prove to be worthy a flier in the 4th or 5th round of the draft this year. Considering his size and potential, Luke is definitely worthy of a mid round pick.

If Luke doesn't start climbing up boards he could draw the Raiders attention in the middle rounds of the draft. His combination of size, strength, and character will entice the Raiders plenty anyway. If they miss out on Kyle Long (who appears to be likely to go in the 2nd round), and Luke Marquardt is still available, they should be taking a long hard look at him.

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