ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay conducted a conference call with several members of our blog network last week while I was on vacation. Even though I was not on the call, NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert was gracious enough to ask a question for me.
I had Seifert ask McShay if he thought Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd or Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei would be a better fit for the Raiders. Both players are considered potential choices of Oakland with the No. 3 pick. Floyd has been most connected to Oakland, but Lotulelei could be a nice fit as well.
When McShay began to answer the question, he said Floyd probably would be a better fit for Oakland than Lotulelei, but McShay said he thinks Lotulelei is a better overall player and could fit the Raiders as well.
Floyd is considered a more natural 4-3 defensive tackle. However, McShay said he thinks Lotulelei can play the spot as well.
“Floyd probably makes more sense for Oakland, but not necessarily,” McShay said. “I think Floyd has a chance to be highly disruptive. But the lack of sack production is concerning considering how quick he is. Lotulelei is a much more dominant run-defender and he might, when it is all said and done, have greater sack production [than Floyd] although he does it in a different way.”
If Oakland agrees with McShay, Lotulelei may get a long look. Oakland has to score with this pick. And because the defense is being totally reconstructed, I think Oakland can be flexible and not worry as much about specific fit, but focus on overall impact.
I hope Reggie is smart enough to see that Starr is the better player both vs the run and the pass. In fact Starr had more sacks this past season than Floyd did his entire career.