With pick 154 in the fifth round of our staff Raiders mock, the Oakland Raiders select...
Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma
When you think about Oklahoma football's defense, you think of athletic, hard-nosed players like Gerald McCoy, Andre Woolfolk and The Boz. Eric Striker is the next player in that lineage. He's a little undersized at 5'11" and 227 pounds, but you won't find a more productive player in this draft. Striker was an instinctive playmaker who really made the Oklahoma defense tick, and allowed them to dominate in the spread-happy Big 12 conference.
Striker played the "Von Miller" edge rusher role at Oklahoma, and was usually rushing the passer and causing havoc in the backfield. However, he is also a pretty good coverage linebacker when he drops back. He is extremely good at batting balls down out of the quarterback's hands, which is useful when playing Bog 12 teams who would routinely pass upwards of 50 times a game.
While Striker doesn't have the best measurables, and only sported a 4.8 40 time at the Combine, he's proven over his college career that he plays smarter and faster than his workouts suggest. His production was impeccable, with 191 tackles including 46.5 for loss to go with 23 sacks over his time at Oklahoma, during which he earned First-Team Big 12 honors three times.
I have watched plenty of Oklahoma games in my time, and Striker stands out as one of the better players I've seen as far as doing the correct things on the field and always being where he is supposed to be. His motor is outstanding and he is extremely versatile, able to do anything the coaches ask him to do. If he were three inches taller he'd be a sure-fire second round pick, but he will fall due to concerns over whether he can continue to perform at his accustomed level in the NFL. I believe Striker can star on special teams and he a quality backup at every linebacker position.
Raiders selections so far:
Round 1, pick 14 -- Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Round 2, pick 44 -- Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Round 3, pick 75 -- Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
Round 4, pick 114 -- Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
Round 5, pick 143 -- Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan
Round 5, pick 154 -- Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma
Round 6, pick 194
Round 7, pick 234