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2016 Raiders UDFA Profile: DT Darius Latham, DT, Indiana

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Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Latham the player probably would have been drafted if not for Darius Latham the character risk. He was suspended twice from the Indiana Hoosiers for unspecified team violations and was arrested for an OWI on March 9th of this year. One of those suspensions seriously hurt his chances of being drafted because it forced him to miss the most high profile game of the season against Ohio State.

The player though, he could be one of the UDFA's to make the team. He is 6'4, 311lbs and can play 3-tech or 5-tech defensive tackle. The Raiders surely liked his versatility because he is a scheme fit for either a 4-3 or a 3-4. He already uses his hands very well for a college player, batting and slapping away blockers well when he is engaged. If a coaching staff can get him to work on his flaws of playing too high and at times letting blockers handle him too easily then he could very well have a nice career in the NFL.

The character concerns remind me a bit of Raiders defensive lineman Shelby Harris who also was a 7th round draft pick by Oakland. Harris actually had to transfer out of Wisconsin because of his issues in college but has had a respectable performance with the Raiders since they signed him. Better than that, he has been completely clean of the character issues that dogged him at Wisconsin.

That is the hope that the Raiders have with this signing as well because Darius Latham has a lot of untapped potential. He was a top-20 in the Nation defensive tackle recruit out of high school and could have gone to many more high profile colleges. However, he decided to stay in his home state and attend Indiana University. He has long arms, a frame that can still add more muscle, and a mean streak when fully motivated on the field.

In 2015 he was an Honorable mention for All-Big 10 honors in 2015 when he accumulated 10 tackles for loss with 4 sacks as a defensive tackle. Besides that, he was also rated as the 5th-best pass rushing defensive tackle in the draft by Pro Football Focus. Latham definitely has talent and if he can get his character flaws under control he very well could be one of the UDFA's to make the roster for the Raiders this year, and even if not he is a good candidate for the practice squad at the very least.