Greetings, Raider fans! Yesterday's combinre festivities included three positions groups the Raiders will largely pass on- QB, WR, TE- but today will be quite different. On Sunday the defensive front seven players, defensive linemen and linebackers, will be put through the wringer. After watching Denver's ferocious pass rush stymie the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl you can bet these guys will be in high demand. The Raiders will surely be interested in adding one or more of these guys to a promising defense.
Almongst the key linemen working out today will be Oregon's freak defensive end DeForest Buckner, Ole Miss' headcase phenom Robert Nkemdiche, Oklahoma State's star defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and stud defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins from Louisville. Ohio State DE Joey Bosa will also be in this group and has proclaimed himself the best player in the draft. The onus is on him to back up the big mouth. Keep an eye on Alabama's two mammoth inside men, A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed.
Linebackers to watch include UCLA's Myles Jack (who claims to be 100% healed from a nasty meniscus tear last season), Georgia's wiry but speedy edge rusher Leonard Floyd, Alabama's stalwart middle linebacker Reggie Ragland and Ohio State's Darron Lee.
National Title runner-up Clemson will also have a couple big-time defensive players work out today in Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd. Both were very productive in college so a good workout could vault either up into the upper echelon of prospects.
Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith was considered one of the best (if not the best) linebackers available, but a medical evaluation showed serious nerve damage and he will miss significant time if in fact he will ever be able to play again. We'll see if a team takes a chance on him in the draft- where he goes will be an interesting topic of conversation.