The Las Vegas Raiders will certainly be looking for linebackers and offensive linemen during the NFL Draft this offseason and this year’s Military Bowl features one of each from the Duke Blue Devils in Shaka Hayward and Graham Barton. So, Raiders fans will certainly want to tune in, and below is a look at what those two can bring to the table.
Shaka Heyward, LB (No. 42)
Career stats (four seasons): 337 total tackles (173 solo), 31.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 4 INTs, 7 PD
NMDD draft projection as of 12/27: 6th round
Heyward has good movement skills with decent range. And Heyward proved capable of holding up in zone coverage and can be used as an effective A-gap blitzer.
He disrupts plays in the backfield regularly. He also has the agility and pure speed to cover sideline to sideline, moving like a safety and then finishing as a violent and consistent tackler.
He’s rangy and instinctive when he’s looking into the backfield as a zone defender.
Is a gifted athlete with an impressive frame and a lot of raw ability. Heyward needs to get stronger to do more damage at the point of attack and is very unpolished with the mental aspect of the position. Streaky instincts and anticipation.
His fluidity and speed allow him to cover a lot of ground when dropping back into zone, and he is capable of turning and running with tight ends.
Physical at the point of attack and works hard to shed blocks. Enjoys contact and is a forceful tackler. Effective blitzer with the speed to reach the backfield and create backside pressure.
Graham Barton, OT (No. 62)
NMDD draft projection as of 12/27: UDFA
Scouting report via Draft Buzz (full report)
Does a nice job on the second level, moving upfield quickly and showing the flexibility and balance to land blocks in space.
Shows excellent awareness when presented with stunts and blitzes, and Barton works well with teammates on combo blocks
Exhibits good patience in pass protection, sitting back in his set rather than leaning and lunging.
Fires off the snap quickly, and he shows the flexibility to get out and seal on reach blocks. He’s at his best, however, in the phone booth.
Uses his hands well, with good hand placement to maximize his powerful punch. Barton shows impressive coordination between his upper and lower body when moving in pass protection.