clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Raiders select Shilique Calhoun at 75: Staff reactions, grades

New, comments
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With the 75th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun. What does the staff at S&BP think of the pick and what grade do they give it?

Tyler Green

After a suspect second round pick, the Raiders turn around and absolutely nail their third round selection. Shilique Calhoun is one of the better pass rushers in the 2016 NFL Draft as he has totaled 18.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss the past two seasons. He had a monster 2015 rushing the quarterback as he recorded 11 sacks, 17 hits, and 48 hurries according to Pro Football Focus. Calhoun also posted the second-best pass rush grade in the nation last year at +44.o per PFF. It is rare when a team can get a pass rusher so late in the draft, but that is exactly what the Raiders accomplished.

Calhoun needs to improve his run defense, but his edge rushing ability will see him immediate playing time, especially in nickel sub-packages. Adding both Ward and Calhoun gives the Raiders insurance if Mario Edwards Jr's neck doesn't check out. But even if it does, both players give the Raiders great depth and allow the Silver and Black to rotate their defensive lineman and keep their legs fresh.

Grade: A+


Shilique Calhoun is one of my favorite players in this draft. I am beyond excited that he is a Raider. This man is a tenacious defensive end with a non-stop motor. He never stops fighting. Calhoun was a key cog in Michigan State's defense which was one of the best in all of college football. Calhoun lives in the opponent's backfield and causes havoc at all times. He's a superior pass rusher and is also great against the run.

The only knock on Calhoun is his relative light weight, but he uses his lack of mass to his advantage with quickness and speed. Put on his Oregon game tape and watch him tear it up. Raider fans are going to love this guy. I had him as a second round pick so to get Calhoun here is highway robbery.

Grade: A+

Jeff Spiegal

Not the position I was expecting considering the team took Jihad Ward in the second round, but at least with Calhoun we can point to some serious production at a serious NCAA program. That said, I think there's still some depth out there at positions of need (running back especially), so I can live with this pick. Not sure where exactly Calhoun fits into the Oakland rotation (especially once Aldon Smith comes back from suspension), but, as they say, you can never have too many pass-rushers.

Grade: B+

Marcus Allen Krause

Defense continues to be the theme of the draft for the Oakland Raiders with DE Shilique Calhoun. He is an incredibly accomplished college player to get in the 3rd round having won a Big10 Defensive Lineman of the year award and multiple All-American honors.

He is a pass rushing specialist with 18.5 sacks over the last two years while being a team captain and leader of a very talented Michigan State defense. This pick solidifies any depth concerns along the Raiders defensive line along.

He is another very high character person and strong motor player, though he needs to be more aggressive at the NFL level. Still, 128 QB pressures in college says exactly the type of player he is. As a Wisconsin Badger fan I respect Calhoun very much and am glad to see him move on from terrorizing the Big10. 

Grade: A

Levi Damien

As much of a raw talent Jihad Ward was, Shilique Calhoun's resume is extensive. With 27.0 sacks and 44.0 tackles for loss in four seasons at Michigan State. There is little doubt this is a Best Player Available type of pick. He is listed as a defensive end but he is undersized and has the makings of a pass rushing outside linebacker -- a position the Raiders are stacked with the likes of Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, and (eventually) Aldon Smith. Calhoun was not supposed to be available this late. He was at least a second round pick in every projection out there so getting him at pick 75 in the third round is fantastic value.

Grade: A-

UPDATE: After speaking with Calhoun, I am upping my grade to a solid A. Quite an impressive character. -- Levi Damien