Raiders late owner Al Davis loved his physical freaks. A few years ago in his honor, I started to Al Davis Memorial All-Combine Freak Team. It puts a team together based on the best athletic performers in the year's scouting combine. Here is your 2014 team starting with the offense.
Quarterback: Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
For Al Davis, whose last draft pick was Terrelle Pryor, Logan Thomas is a very much in that mold. At 6-6, 248 pounds, he is an absolute physical specimen. He doesn't quite have the speed of Pryor (not many do) but is a somewhat better passer which was always more important to Al Davis. The key is Thomas as those physical attributes that can't be taught. Even if the rest of his game will likely require quite a bit more teachings.
Running back: Dri Archer, Kent St
This one was the easiest choice on the team. Archer is the only running back in this class with the kind of world class speed that would earn a place on this team. His 4.26 40-yard dash was by far the best in this class at any position and just .02 seconds off the Chris Johnson's all-time mark - a guy who could very well have been a Raider if not for Darren McFadden and his crazy overall athletic abilities.
Running back: Bishop Sankey, Washington
The 40-yard dash is all well and good but for a running back, the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle are more crucial. Sankey had the best times in both categories among running backs. He was also in the top five in nearly every category including second in the bench press (26) and fourth in the broad jump (10'6"). His 40-yard dash time was not too bad either at 4.49. As long as he's sub 4.5 along with his other athletic prowess, he'll be just fine.
Wide receiver: Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
The guy who has an award with the great Fred Biletnikoff's name on it as the best receiver in the country stepped on the field at the combine and cemented himself as a top pick. His 4.33 40-yard dash was the best among receivers and second only to Dri Archer at the combine. He also had the best time among receivers in the 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle. Cooks also showed very well in receiver drills. His size of 5-10, 189 pounds puts him squarely in Cliff Branch territory - the guy Al Davis spent the past 30 years trying to duplicate and never could.
Wide receiver: Donte Moncrief, Mississippi
He of course had a good 40 time. That's a must at this position on this team. His 4.40 time had him third among wide receivers. Moncrief also showed tremendous leaping ability. His 11'0" broad jump was best among receivers and third at any position. He had the third best vertical jump (39.5) among receivers. Combine that speed and leaping ability with his decent size at 6-2, 221 pounds and there shouldn't be a ball he can't get to.
Tight end: Colt Lyerla, Oregon
He had the best vertical jump of any tight end in this combine by four inches. FOUR INCHES. He leapt 39.0 inches high and the next best height was 35.0 inches. He also had the best broad jump (10.8). Also key is he was third in the 40-yard dash with a 4.61 time. Dude is a physical freak to be certain. He has some pretty serious character concerns but Al Davis could probably tell you where to put those character concerns.
OT Talor Lewan, Michigan
Dude was in the top five in nearly every category. He had the best 40 (4.87), best broad jump (9'9"), third best vertical jump (30.5), and fourth best 3-cone (7.39).
OT Brandon Thomas, Clemson
Thomas is a mauler. He showed great strength in his arms and legs at the combine by coming in third among offensive tackles in the bench press (35), and fifth in the vertical jump (29.0).
OG Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
He was the best among offensive guards in several categories. He had the most on the bench press (30), best vertical jump (29.0), and Broad jump (9'0").
OG Xavier Su-a-Filo, UCLA
He is extremely athletic for a 6-3, 305 pound man. He was one of only three offensive guards to be among the top performers in the 40-yard dash (5.04). He was also a top performer in the 3-cone (7.60), and had the best 20-yard shuttle among offensive guards (4.44) - third among all offensive linemen.
C Russell Bodine, North Carolina
This was an easy choice. He blew away the field in the bench press with a combine best 42 reps. That's six more reps than the next most. He also had the fifth best vertical (29.0) among all offensive linemen, and the sixth best broad jump (9'1"). That's some serious upper and lower body strength.