Esteemed Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is known for his penchant for picking small-school players who have big production against lower levels of competition. He likes to find those hidden value players and get the most out of them. This year he's trying to strike gold again, with stud Norfolk State linebacker Deon King, who won the Buck Buchanan Award as the best defender at the FCS level.
According to the National Football Post, Reggie is not alone in his pursuit of King, who has not only worked out for Oakland but also for Denver, San Francisco, Indianapolis and the Washington Indigenous Persons. There is a ton of interest in King, who also has visited with the Dallas Cowboys.
While King's measurables make it plain why he didn't get a scholarship offer from a FBS school- he's generously listed at 6'1" and 235 pounds- his production was outstanding. King racked up the stats in his career, accumulating 372 tackles with 52 1/2 for loss, 22 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and three picks. Those numbers remind me an awful lot of another guy who didn't get a FBS scholarship, and who was recently the first man ever to be named All-Pro at two positions in the same year- our own Khalil Mack.
I'm not suggesting King will be anywhere near as great as Mack, but players do fall through the cracks and King is a tackling machine who will man inside linebacker at the next level. The Raiders will have some competition at that spot this season, and perhaps they will add a quality player like Deon King to that mix.