Key To This Years Draft For The Raiders: Moves That Must Be Made For Future Success
By: DThaDrumMajor aka Draft-Prophet
Please Read With An Open Mind
The Raiders have one of the greatest fan-bases and are one of the most storied franchises in NFL History, but as of now there are things that must be addressed and provided solutions for. It is a known fact that this team currently has by far the worst cap situation in the league and the best way to combat this lack of cap room is to be smart in the draft and to be frugal and precise with available talent through free-agency. Reggie McKenzie has done just that and the only thing he needs to do to ensure improvement in the 2013-2014 season is have a monster draft. That being said, This draft for the Raiders revolves around the Top 2 Overall Picks and the relationship of those picks with Star Lotulelei. Jacksonville has a tremendous need for a pass-rusher and could see Star as an immediate long-term fix to the need and if they take him the Raiders need to trade down for more picks because there is not defensive linemen that is going to provide his caliber of play and dominance that early in the draft and it could be in their best interest to assure they have more picks to draft more talent. Basically, If Star Lotulelei is drafted before the #3 Overall Pick the Raiders need to trade down for more picks. The trade down could be beneficial either way but Lotulelei has the mark of a Hall of Fame caliber Defensive Tackle and should be taken regardless if available.
* = Picks Acquired From The Trading of The #3 Overall Pick.
() = Desired Position For Team
2013 NFL Draft Picks
(*)The trades are based on an ideal situation that if they cannot draft Lotulelei 3rd Overall They Swap Picks With The Miami Dolphins For Their (1)12th Overall, (2)42nd Overall, (2)53th Overall, and (3)82nd Overall Picks. This move makes sense because the Miami Dolphins are in serious need of a Left Tackle after the departure of Jake Long, and for them taking Eric Fisher 3rd Overall could be in their best interest.
This move not only brings in 3 more high round picks to the Raiders but it also effectively handicaps their division rivals the Kansas City Chiefs, because if the Chiefs are unable to get rid of Brandon Albert's guaranteed money for this season following his franchise tag they are going to have to make serious cuts to make cap room for their draft picks. This move is the definition of 2 Birds with 1 Stone.
(1)3rd Overall Pick
Star Lotulelei, Utah, Defensive Tackle (Defensive Tackle), 6-2/311
Strengths: Powerful and agile starting nose tackle prospect. Versatile enough to play almost all interior defensive line positions across many types of fronts. Often the first player off the snap, will challenge the hand and foot quickness of guards inside. When choosing to bull rush, gets under his mans pads and churns his legs to push him backwards. Thick arms eat up ball carriers coming into his path. Quick feet and a bit of short-area speed to spin off blocks inside and follow plays across the field. Flashes arm-over move to penetrate. Recognize screens and track them down, also willing to move down the line while engaged. Greatly improved on reading blocking schemes, locating the football, and disengaging over his last two seasons.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent keeping his eyes in the backfield to find the ball and being violent with his hands to shed, but has improved here and is a dominant run-stopper when he does. Will get pressure, but probably won't be a dominant sack artist at the next level due to how he'll be used. Lacks flexibility to break down on open-field tackles, ball carriers can elude him in the backfield. Does not beat cut blocks with his hands, though he does a good job recovering for his size, gets back into the play.
Star Lotulelei Scouting Report
By Charlie Campbell
*(1)12th Overall Pick
D.J. Fluker, Alabama, Offensive Tackle (Offensive Guard), 6-5/340
Strengths: Tall, long, thick right tackle prospect with huge hands and a solid (not sloppy) build. That pure size gives him the power to collapse the edge to create running lanes. Defensive ends must be very quick off the snap to beat him on their initial pass rush move because of his length and hustle. Has improved his anchor against bull-rushes, wide base and length make him tough to move. Flashes footwork to reach linebackers at the second level, who cant separate from him once he locks on. Shows some bend for his size in his stance, can get low to cut-block on quick passes and in short-yardage situations.
Weaknesses: Gives up too many secondary rushes, lacks recovery speed to stay in front of his man if the quarterback holds onto the ball. Must get his hands up more quickly to sustain blocks, both in pass protection and in the run game. Quicker players in space can avoid him if they see him coming. Loses his balance regularly when overextending towards his target, often ending up on the ground.
D.J. Fluker Scouting Report
Ability to sustain blocks
Has a mean streak
Raises his level of play in big games
Has good length
Has some quickness to the second level
Perfect for a man-blocking scheme
Lots of experience against first-round talents
Poor pass-blocking technique
Needs to improve footwork
Can struggle with speed-rushers
Slower in his drop than he should be
Could be forced into guard
Probably won't fit a zone-blocking system
Need Addressed/Interior Offensive Line: D.J. Fluker has the ability to step in and be an effective immediate starter for the Raiders, and he has the potential to develop into the leagues best Offensive Guard. With the signing of the Matt Flynn and having one of the best receiving corps in the league addressing the issues on the Offensive Line with this pick could mean a vastly improved offensive passing and running attack. Taking this guy and installing him is in no doubt the Raiders best interest for future success.
*(2)42nd Overall Pick
Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, Defensive-End (Defensive-End), 6-4/250
Strengths: Tall rush end/linebacker hybrid with nice length and a frame still not maxed out. Has played in a stand-up and hand-down role and threatens quarterbacks from either side of the line. Good snap anticipation and initial quickness to threaten the edge. Flashes the punch and arm extension to bull tackles backwards. Possesses the ability to flatten down the line as a pass rusher. Shows the flexibility to bend the edge as a pass rusher and get skinny and reduce his surface area through creases on the inside. Good second effort even when beaten with initial hand play, can close on quarterbacks and running backs coming to his side and he chases from the back side. Presents good bend for his size in a three-point stance. Length and increased upper-body strength helps him reach ball carriers and pop/drag them down with authority. Excellent at inside stunts and slant. Quickness helps him win the B-gap even when lined up outside the tackle, also helps him get to the sideline to chase down ball carriers. Tight ends have little chance of handling his rip move on the outside. Moves well when standing up, has the change of direction ability to contain on his side, handle himself against tight ends off the line and in short zone coverage as a 3-4 backer. Breaks down and drops his drops to stone backs in the hole or catch them if they try to elude him. Anchors against linemen in the run game, holds the edge adeptly. Excellent upside.
Damontre Moore Scouting Report
Natural pass-rush ability
Phenomenal in pursuit
Repertoire of pass-rushing moves
Enough speed to get around the corner
Decent bull rush
Ability to shed blocks
Agility to sink his hips/shoulders
Fantastic motor, goes balls to the wall for 60 minutes
Plays with good pad level
Does well as a pass-rushing defensive tackle
Extremely productive against elite competition
Great practice preparation
Plays hurt, still produces
Huge character concerns
Can get blown away in run defense
Lacks elite explosion
Teams feel he will indulge in party lifestyle
Gets nicked up
Needs to add football functional strength
Need Addressed/Pass-Rusher: The Raiders are in need of Pass-Rushers and Damontre Moore has been flying under the radar. I have studied this guy extensively and he has the potential to develop into one of the leagues premier defensive ends.
*(2)54th Overall Pick
John Jenkins, Georgia, Nose-Tackle (Defensive-Tackle), 6-4/346
Athleticism: Massive interior defensive lineman. Top heavy build with a thick upper half and thin lower half. Does have a large backside and he carries his weight well. Jenkins his a powerful individual, especially in the upper body. Quick first step out of his stance and maintains leverage initially. Long arms and has a wingspan of over 80″ Fairly agile for this size and changes direction surprisingly well. Exhibits good quickness at times beating OL to gap.
Inconsistent balance, leans forward too much and goes to the ground. Takes him awhile to get up to top speed which is average at best. Weight will always be an issue for Jenkins. Weighed in at close to 360 pounds at the Senior Bowl, which is heavier than he should be. Should be able to trim down and still maintain his power. Lower body has to get stronger.
Vs. The Run: Plays primarily two gap nose tackle. Is able to overwhelm and engulf opposing OL with his massive frame. Has a good first step which he combines with a powerful upper-body punch. Uses his power to out-leverage OL to control his space. Can push pocket and disrupt the play with bullrush maneuver. Moves well laterally down the line of scrimmage and can beat OL to inside gap. His pads pop up quickly resulting in loss of leverage, but he keeps his feet moving even when he is blocked. Does of good job of stopping the interior run, can come off his block or get one arm free to slow up the ball carrier. Uses his power to anchor vs. double teams and clog middle of the field. Plays NT and 1-shade, but I believe he has the quickness to play some 3-Tech in certain situations.
Hand usage is average and inconsistent, as he lacks a violent go to move. Once he gets through the line he can break down, find the ball and change direction. Powerful tackler at point of impact. Stamina and conditioning level will effect how many plays he can play at NFL level. Allows his shoulders to get turned and gives up ground vs. double teams, but will fight to regain ground.
Pass Rush: About what you would expect from a 360 pound NT. Not his strength, but has the ability to push the pocket with strength and quick initial move. When he gets his hands into the chest and arms extended he is able to bulldoze the OL into the backfield. Good leg drive when engaged. Isn’t sudden enough to shake free of OL once in position. When disengaged he shows the athleticism to chase and close. Lacks pass rush moves, doesn’t use his hands real well besides a subtle slap/rip move. Better when rushing from the 3-Tech.
Lacks a plan when pass rushing. Jenkins keeps contain when rushing does a good job of not allowing QB to step up into the pocket. In the NFL Jenkins will most likely come off the field in rush situations. Simply, not quick or explosive enough to pose much pass rush threat if he can’t win with power.
Technique: Plays from and athletic stance despite massive frame. Is able to come off the ball low and with leverage, but lets pads rise. Plays with a good motor when pass rushing. Powerful bull-rush in which he shoots hands to chest-plate and extends his arms.
Overextends his upper-body (waist bend), due to top heavy build. Lacks great balance, finds himself on the ground and out of the play too often. Doesn’t recognize cut blocks and doesn’t use his hands to shed them. Has pretty good run/pass instincts, recognizes where play is going and tries to get there. Will draw comparisons to Terrence Cody, but moves much better than Cody and offers more disruption potential.
Intangibles/Effort/Ect: Failed to qualify out of high school, had to go the JUCO route and has struggled to maintain his grades while at UGA. Was academically ineligible for the Bowl Game vs. Nebraska. Jenkins hasn’t had any major injuries to speak of. Major weight concerns, while he carries his weight well and has an athletic frame, it will always be an issue. Shows good effort when in pursuit, can chase the ball and makes agile plays redirecting the RB. Played in the 2013 Senior Bowl. Most likely limited to 3-4 NT, I believe he offers some 4-3 DT potential in spurts.
Need Addressed: Run-Stuffer: The Raiders are in a very strong running division and the acquisition of John Jenkins could prove beneficial. He could come in and play a Pat Williams like role on the defensive line and he has the ability to be tremendously productive in that role. There are people saying that this guy is only a run-stuffer but from what i've seen he has developing pass-rushing potential. He has great athleticism for his size and if does in fact develop into a disruptive pass-rusher he will dominate.
(3)66th Overall Pick
Kiko Alonso, Oregon, Inside-Linebacker (Outside-Linebacker), 6-3/238
Strengths: Versatile inside linebacker with potential to play either middle linebacker (in a 4-3 or 3-4 base defense) or outside linebacker (in a 4-3). Attacks that blocker with the correct shoulder, and powerful hands. Moves forward quickly. Times his blitzes well. Fast enough to keep up with running backs on quick swings in the flats. Shows good awareness when asked to drop into a variety of different coverage situations. High effort player who has a motor that is constantly running. Flashes quick penetrating ability at the goal line, stays tight to the A gap and wraps up. Attacks with intensity
Weaknesses: Likely limited to solely an A-gap blitzer due to a lack of bend and ability to change angles. Runs into the back of defensive linemen when closing the line of scrimmage quickly rather than splitting a gap or lane. Impact to jar blockers on first contact at the second level is lacking. A bit tentative between the tackles, especially against a lead blocker. Misdirection trips him up due to lack of quick twitch change of direction. Loses sight of quarterback in coverage, turns to look at the receiver. Takes himself out of plays with wasted movement, often guessing on where the ball is going.
Need Addressed/Outside Linebacker: The Raiders would benefit greatly by drafting this guy to play opposite Miles Burris, who has shown great promise and talent. Kiko Alonso is a guy that haves the type of potential that is rarely seen. He is a jack of all trades that excels at all trades, he literally does it all from the linebacker position at a high level. This move would prove vastly beneficial to the future of the Raiders defense. Kiko is going to develop into a Troy Polomalu like defender in this league and he is going to be a guy that opposing offense keep an eye on. This guy is going to be a defensive force in this league.
*(3)82nd Overall Pick
Luke Marquardt, Azusa Pacific, Offensive-Tackle (Offensive-Tackle), 6-8/315
Strengths: Possesses prototypical height, length and a growing frame still able to add weight without losing athleticism. Flashes foot quickness to take away the edge in pass protection, but also mirror without losing knee bend to maintain balance and form. Redirects ends through the pocket inside, as well. Widens his base to anchor when on his game. Also uses his feet to change blocking angle on the move to create running lanes. Surprises with his straight-line speed when leading on pulls or getting downfield to block. Has a solid punch, and is also capable of keeping his feet active while landing it. Comes out of his three-point stance low and hard for his size, gets hands inside to bully defender out of the play. Greets blitzers instead of catching them. Uses strength and length to hold back one defender on double-team while waiting for edge blitzers.
Weaknesses: His height can cause him problems when trying to get leverage on quicker defenders, will need to prove he can avoid getting stood up off the snap in the run game. Gets narrow and comes out of his stance at times against quicker rushers instead of maintaining technique, often because he can against a lower level of competition. Must be consistent with his bend in pass protection and when approaching targets in space. Will occasionally stop his feet while punching, overextending in the process. Could finish plays more regularly, putting his man to the ground and keeping him there as he shows the ability to do.
Need Addressed/Offensive Tackle: Luke Marquardt is the definition of a developmental prospect, and as that title states, he has a tremendously high ceiling. His intangibles are off the charts and he possesses all things that cannot be coached. He has the raw ability, instincts, and potential to dominate in this league. He just needs time to adapt to the NFL. Mark my words, when this guy gets his feet under him he is going to be a household name. He is going to develop into a Top-Ranked OT in this league, it's just a matter of when.
(4)100th Overall Pick
Tharold Simon, LSU, Cornerback (Cornerback), 6-2/202
Strengths: Has great height. Extremely long arms and frame. Tracks and locates the football well. the football well. Makes plays (22 pass breakups and seven interceptions) in three seasons. Fluid hips, can turn and run with receivers. Will use his hands throughout the route.
Weaknesses: Doesn't use his hands well at the line of scrimmage, poor pressing technique. Not always smooth in coming out of backpedal, takes elongated strides. Doesn't have tremendous feet, lacks quickness and the proper base.
Need Addressed/Cornerback: Potential wise Tharold Simon is going to be a steal. He has the makings of an excellent corner, and he has shown the ability and potential to dominate in this league. He makes great plays and he has shown that his abilities transcend his height. He needs to grow into his frame more and is going to have to drastically refine his technique, so he is not going to be an effective immediate starter but after he develops for a year or two and takes his skills to the next level he is going to take the NFL by storm. Remember his name, because one day he is going to be a household name much like Darelle Revis. If he is drafted get ready for Simon Island.
(6)172th Overall Pick
Tristan Okpalaugo, Fresno, Defensive End (Defensive End), 6-6/250
Dion Jordon, Who?
I'm just playing, but this guy really does have an amazingly high ceiling. He has the potential to be a Hall of Fame Caliber Pass-Rusher and his intangibles are off the charts. Every year there is an under the radar X-Factor and that X-Factor is this guy, he will develop into a dominant Defensive End or Outside Linebacker. He is a steal.
Strengths: Definitely uses his arm length to his advantage evidenced by his innate ability to keep blockers off of his body. When fully extended few blockers can match up. He will 9 out of 10 times touch you before you touch him. Has a frame that could add more muscle without sacrificing athleticism. Has really good timing, elite anticipation and explosiveness. Flashes tremendously sharp instincts and makes an abundance of reaction plays. Impressive and well-coordinated athlete for his size. Plays fast, physical and with a mean streak. Converts speed to power off the edge. Strong, Violent, Active Hands at the Point of Attack. Very High Football I.Q, great ability to deciphering fakes rarely bite. Has great recovering skills. Has a wide array of pass-rush moves. Solid Motor. Rarely gives up on a play, plays whistle to whistle with 110% effort.
Weaknesses: Has sub-par strength and power. Due to his height he does have some leverage issue, has caused him to be stonewalled and over-powered, will need to refine technique to fix this issue. Is susceptible to the cut-block. Has elite closing speed, but doesn't possess great raw speed. Is a very inconsistent tackler, will miss key-opportunities due to poor technique.
Bottom-line: A Developmental Prospect With Rare Positional Value and Talent.
Need Addressed/Defensive End
(6)205nd Overall Pick
Joseph Fauria, UCLA, Tight End (Tight End), 6-7/260
Strengths: Long, athletic player who is an excellent red zone target because he can box out and have great reach for high passes. Possesses solid hands to catch away from his frame. Fluid runner who is a tough ask for linebackers to cover in the middle. Shows some short-area quickness to separate on double-moves and out cuts. Gets out of his three-point stance more quickly than expected given his size. Good balance to snatch the ball on the run and hurdle defensive backs trying to cut him down.
Weaknesses: Very lean build. Flashes some balance and elusiveness after the catch but long legs allow defenders to wrap or trip him up easily. Struggles to get low blocking in-line or trying to hit targets in the open field. Will often be overwhelmed by defenders, struggles to stick on his block.
Need Addressed/Tight End
(7)209th Overall Pick
Manase Foketi, Kansas State, Offensive Tackle (Offensive Guard), 6-5/325
Strengths: Stout frame with long arms. Good balance, and nice knee bend. Has the agility to move well laterally. Has the strength to control his opponent and ride him out of plays when he gets his hands inside their chest. Aggressive as a run blocker, seeks to knock people over.
Weaknesses: Limited experience. A bit of a guard/tackle tweener. Feet may not be quick enough to keep him at tackle. Isn't versed in deep pass sets. Maturity is a question after a somewhat hostile exit from Kansas State.
Need Addressed/Interior Offensive Line
(7)219th Overall Pick
Uona Kaveinga, BYU, Middle Linebacker (Middle Linebacker), 5-11/233
Strengths: Physical leader in the middle of the defense who possesses a compact build with thick arms. Finds the ball regularly, feels his way through traffic to stack running backs. Punishes ball-carriers with a pop in the hole or in zone coverage. Takes out lead blockers like a missile when needed so others can clean up. Has enough foot speed to drop in the middle, works to stay with tight ends down the seam. Knocks smaller receivers off crossing routes over the middle.
Weaknesses: Shorter than scouts prefer at the position. Length also becomes an issue when fighting off blockers. Downhill defender who can struggle to change directions quickly. Hustles to the ball, but won’t have a huge range due to average initial acceleration. Goes for the big shoulder hit instead of wrapping at times, will lunge and be eluded by quicker ball-carriers.
Need Addressed/Middle Linebacker