When the 2014 Draft ended, there were scores of players who went undrafted that could have easily been drafted in the fifth, even fourth, round of the draft. Guys so good you look at their names and scratch your head, wondering what these teams were thinking that passed on them. Carlos Fields is one of those players.
Fields was a two-sport star in high school in North Carolina and chose to attend Winston-Salem State where he starred as an outside linebacker and earned CIAA Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors twice. He was known for being a very productive player and a tackling machine. He was also very effective as a pass rusher and in coverage, although his hips and backpedaling skills are not elite.
Statistics from Fields' collegiate career are not easy to come by, but in 2013 he recorded 93 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble. He was top-10 in conference in every tackling category, so we know he has a real nose for the ball and doesn't get fooled.
Size is a question for Fields, as he is listed at 6'1" and 215 pounds so he isn't some kind of monster pass-rushing OLB. He is an intelligent, hard-nosed guy who has a quick step to the ball and will stop the run at all cost. He tends to overpursue at times and get caught up in blocks when he moves east-to-west, but his instincts are good and when blocked directly he sheds those blocks well.
If the Raiders want to run multiple looks and varied fronts they need guys like Fields, who can play any linebacker spot and focus on stopping the run while also being able to defend the pass. The competition level in the CIAA, as a Division II conference, is very low but the traits that Fields exhibits sound like everything we wanted Rolando McClain to be. Fields should also be able to compete immediately on special teams and hopefully push to be in the rotation as a linebacker all over the field.