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Raiders UDFA Profile: S Tevin McDonald has NFL pedigree to succeed

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Former Eastern Washington safety Tevin McDonald comes from a football family and has the instincts to make it as a Raider.

Shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Raiders signed Eastern Washington safety Tevin McDonald as a priority free agent. If someone with the last name of McDonald playing safety sounds familiar to you, it's because Tevin McDonald is the son of former 49ers great Tim McDonald and the brother of current St. Louis Ram T.J. McDonald.

But how did someone with these bloodlines end up at EWU? Tevin was recruited to UCLA, but failed multiple drug tests as a Bruin and was kicked off the team by Jim Mora Jr after two productive years with that program. So he traveled up to the Pacific Northwest and made his name as a Big Sky Conference standout. Reportedly, he has become a model citizen at the FCS level.

McDonald isn't the biggest safety, standing 5'11" and weighing in at 195 pounds. He can stand to add more bulk, because while he is rangy in coverage and is quick to react to the run, he doesn't have the size to really blow plays up at the line of scrimmage. He also can get grabby when a receiver has him beat in coverage. Since the refs just love to throw flags on Oakland defensive backs, that could turn out to be a problem.

The athletic safety earned Big Sky First-Team All-American honors in 2014 and has the athleticism and ball skills to make an impact as a coverage safety so long as he isn't asked to play close to the point of attack. The bottom line for McDonald is that had he never left UCLA he may have been seen as a third-round guy and for Oakland to get him as an UDFA is a huge win for the front office.