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Raiders Host Oregon LB Kiko Alonso

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The Raiders have met with fiery Oregon LB Kiko Alonso. He is very highly thought of by draft experts; what are his strengths and weaknesses?

Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

The Raiders have met with several players lately as they prepare for the 2013 NFL Draft. One of whom is former Oregon Linebacker Kiko Alonso. I will admit that personally as an Oregon Ducks fan I am biased towards this guy. I watched him play a lot and he is a stud. He plays with fire and passion and a very high motor. He is always around the football and looking to make an impact play.

With that desire to make a big play on every down comes some drawbacks- he often guesses about where the play is going and can be fooled by misdirection. He needs to develop better instincts and learn how to more accurately diagnose where a play is going. He also lacks ideal linebacker's reflexes, and isn't able to change direction very quickly. He works best as a torpedo, moving in a straight line toward the ball and making the big hit and trying to force a turnover (which he did often).

He is very fast, big, and athletic. He is good in coverage and was regularly batting down passes and recording INTs at Oregon. He has a nose for the QB and is a terror in the opposing backfield, making plenty of tackles for loss and sacks. He missed much of his first two seasons at Oregon due to an ACL injury and suspensions stemming from substance abuse issues. He recovered from the injury and has had no further behavioral issues that I am aware of for a few years so I don't see him as a problem child.

The bottom line is that Alonso is a playmaker extraordinaire and has the potential to be a very good starter, and he would give his team much of what the Raiders got from Miles Burris last year. He would excel in a scheme where he doesn't have to do too much thinking, but rather would be in a "see ball, hit ball carrier" type role where he blitzes a lot and stuffs the middle or seals the edge. He is athletic enough to play OLB, but I see him moving to the inside as a pro due to his lack of quick-twitch ability.

Alonso is seen as a second-round talent, and I think he will go near the end of the second or possibly the very early third. He is too much value to go anywhere past pick 65. If the Raiders do trade out of Pick #3, he might be someone they would wish to target wherever they find themselves in Round 2.