The Las Vegas Raiders have received mostly positive reviews for the 2023 NFL Draft class and their group of undrafted free agents. One UDFA signing in particular that has received a lot of praise is former UT Chattanooga offensive lineman McClendon Curtis as The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner recently listed Curtis as his best undrafted pickup for the Raiders.
“Add him to the Ekiyor pile: I’m also surprised Curtis wasn’t drafted,” Baumgardner wrote. “The 6-5, 324-pounder has 35-inch arms and has started at both guard spots and left tackle. He more than held his own at the Senior Bowl. There’s work to do, but this could be a total steal for the Raiders in time.”
Curtis also received draftable grades from The Draft Network and Bleacher Report’s Brandon Thorn as below is what each of them had to say about the former Moc.
“Overall, I liked Curtis’ competitiveness. He always worked to strain and finish. His ability to manufacture power and quickness out of his stance, especially in wide-zone run schemes, is encouraging and allows him to match his feet with his power early on in the initial stage of the play, and for me, projects him as a good fit for a wide-zone structured offense. It will take Curtis time to find a home on the offensive line. While versatility is never a problem, taking the time to find where he’ll be most effective may be a long and costly process. While Curtis has the tools and traits to stay in the league, it’s hard for me to bet much on him being a starting offensive lineman quite yet.”
Overall, Curtis is a guard-only prospect for a downhill run scheme, with a large frame, plus length, a violent, physical demeanor and some pop in his hands when he connects on target. His upright playing style and lower-half stiffness are hinderances that will make it difficult to stick in the NFL, but his smarts, size and demeanor make him a worthwhile dart throw at the tail end of the draft or as a priority free agent with backup potential.
Curtis will likely enter a training camp battle with Netane Muti, Jordan Meredith and Vitaliy Gurman for a roster spot.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Raiders schedule DraftKings odds: We have odds for all 17 of Las Vegas’ games in 2023.
- Early thoughts on schedule: Silver and Black Pride’s Bill Williamson gives his early thoughts on the Raiders slate now the schedule is known.
- Tom Brady okay to own Raiders and call games: Tom Brady is in the clear with Fox and his broadcasting contract over his desire to invest in the Las Vegas Raiders, according to an ESPN report on Friday.
- Raiders officially sign 10 UDFAs: the roster is pretty much set for camp.