Prior to last week's draft, Michigan State pass rusher Shilique Calhoun appeared on the NFL Network show ‘Game Changers' with Steve Marriucci. Mooch asked who each of the players modeled their game after, and as if some sort of foreshadowing, Calhoun said two Raiders players.
"Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack," Calhoun led out with. "Recent guys and older guys like Von Miller. You watch them and you try to take what they have from their game and try to make it into your own. You like those guys, so you're gonna love me."
The interesting part of this is that last sentence "You like those guys, so you're gonna love me." As if he was talking directly to the Raiders. Makes you wonder if he had some inkling the Raiders liked him.
He claims he had no idea the Raiders would draft him, even though he had a pre-draft visit to Oakland.
"Not at all, honestly," Calhoun said of whether he knew he would be a Raider. "I know that when I came out to visit Oakland, I came back home and talked to my family. When I got back, I kind of told them I kind of felt like it was the same as Michigan State. I felt like it was a place where I fit well and a place where I felt like I was at home. I'm happy that Oakland picked me up and I'm ready for this opportunity."
In that regard, his feeling Oakland was a great fit and modeling his game after two players who played in the current Raiders defensive system also explains why the Raiders would target him in the draft.
If you were looking for any further proof Calhoun looked up to Mack and Tuck, just look at some of the facemasks he wore at Michigan State, including the one pictured above. Tuck was known for his extravagant facemask and Mack had quite the facemask of his own at Buffalo, before the NFL put out a new rule that didn't allow the design. Tuck had his grandfathered in. He retired from the NFL this offseason.