Just as the second round of last month’s draft ended, the Raiders jumped up to the first pick of the third round to grab Brandon Parker out of North Carolina A&T. They moved up from the 75th pick to the 65th pick in order to take their second tackle of the draft after having taken Kolton Miller at the 15th overall pick in the first round.
The trade up ten spots to get Parker cost them 5th and 6th round picks. Many wonder if they really needed to make that trade to get a small school tackle who didn’t perform well when facing division one talent, but that’s what they did.
Height/weight: 6-7.5, 305
40-yard dash: 5.37
Vertical jump: 28.5
Broad jump: 9’5”
Short shuttle: 4.58
2017 games/starts: 12/12
2016 games/starts: 12/12
2015 games/starts: 12/12
2014 games/starts: 12/12
2017 FCS First team All-American
2017 MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year
2017 NCA&T (12-0) Black College National Champions
2016 FCS First team All American
2016 MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year
2015 FCS First team All American
2015 MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year
2014 Third team All MEAC
Looks the part. Great size (6-8, 305 pounds) and length (35-inch arms) and has impressive lateral agility to mirror and shield off speed rushers. He’s durable, having started every game at left tackle the past four seasons at NCA&T (48). Bloodlines, as his father George Parker played football at North Carolina and his mother played basketball for the Tar Heels. High football IQ. His father went on to become a football coach, so Brandon has been around and was taught the game from an early age.
Despite his football background, he wasn’t recruited out of high school. He played basketball as well, weighing just 260 pounds. He chose NCA&T because his sister played basketball there. After a redshirt season in which is packed some weight onto his frame, he took over the starting left tackle spot and never looked back.
From there he started all 48 career games, never missing a start and didn’t give up a single sack in four seasons. The Aggies had the top rushing attack three straight seasons from 2015-17 and he was a big part of that. Having the same left guard and center beside him helped as well.
Faced lower level competition. The few times he faced FBS competition, he didn’t fare nearly as well. In total, he has faced just four FBS schools in his college career and just one of those (North Carolina) was from a power five conference. He was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he had a rough week, but showed enough promise to catch the eye of many NFL scouts and coaches. As rough as his week was, the game was more so, with Parker giving up two sacks and 6 pressures. One of those sacks he was also called for holding (it was declined).
He is very tall and too often plays like it. Rushers can get under him and bull rush him into the backfield. He doesn’t show a strong punch and can get knocked off his base. He is still raw and needs to add some weight; probably 15-20 pounds.
Fit with Raiders
Even after spending his entire college career at left tackle, the Raiders will have him at right tackle to start out and ultimately hope he lands there long term, with Kolton Miller at left tackle. For this season, however, he will likely be a reserve swing tackle, either behind Penn at left tackle and Miller at right tackle.
Should Penn not fully recover from his foot injury, the future plans for him at right tackle would begin probably earlier than the Raiders would like. Ideally he would have a year to learn under coach Tom Cable, acclimate to playing right tackle, and bulking up.