Starting with the haunting line “our world is fire and blood” the new Mad Max trailer perfectly encapsulates the excitement that I feel going into the 2015 season. Reggie is gradually pulling together a roster with not only talent but also a nice bit of Raiders’ swagger.
Any Raider fan can’t help but love the style and mystique of the Mad Max films, lets face it our former players and ongoing fans are pretty much the inspiration for the creatures that so hauntingly grace the backdrop of these brilliant films.
The bad-ass attitude that players like Khalil Mack, Sio Moore, Just Tuck and Charles Woodson bring to the defense a nasty, hungry personality, warriors looking to be set free on offenses by the excellence and dependability of new recruits, such as Curtis Lofton and Dan Williams. The additional pressure that our front 7 are going to bring this year should be awesome, and is likely to create a big increase in turnovers for our speedy DB-set. As Humungus the central baddy in Mad Max 2 said, “unleash my dogs of war”.
…. I can just see now, Derek Carr calmly striding onto the field, helmet in hand, to take the ball back after CW24 picks off another interception. Fakes a hand-off to Murray then pings a 50 yard bomb into the hands of Amari Cooper – the Oakland Raiders are back, its silver and black!!!
…. one enters and another leaves, its a sad truth of much of life and Chimdi Chekwa’s arrival meant that another Oakland Raider had to leave. Remember 90 + 1 does not equal 90.
This week’s exit being the promising DB/LB Terrell Pinson. True we are short at safety, the most likely future playing position of Terrell Pinson, but not as short as we are/were of experience at CB. Bringing Chekwa in and deleting Pinson is a net gain for the Oakland Raiders, as Chimdi Chekwa probably makes the 53-man roster but Pinson was never really going to be more than a long-shot for the practice squad.
Profootball draft report had Pinson out of their top 75 safeties (note: they had our other young safety Tevin McDonald ranked higher)
Looking at our roster right now I’d say Charles Woodson and Nate Allen are the likely starters, with Brandian Ross also a likely lock to make the final roster after a very good showing in the second half to 2014, then Tevin McDonald, Larry Asante, Jonathan Dowling (our last memory of Terrelle Pryor), Jimmy Hall and Ras-I Dowling are likely battling it out for one or two slots. Personally I think this could be a very promising group and I’d take 5 this year, as we need to prepare for when Charles Woodson finally hangs up the cleats.
So just one day after being cut by the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders resigned CB Chimdi Chekwa, a move I like a lot. Why?
(1) He’s got some experience, having been drafted by us in 2011, and our most experienced CB on the roster prior to Chekwa signing was DJ Hayden
(2) he’s fast
(3) he’s a great gunner on special teams
(4) he’ll come cheap now he’s been through Patriot cuts
(5) he’s improved every year he’s been on the roster
Our top 3 CB’s right now are DJ Hayden, Keith McGill and TJ Carrie, then its a straight battle with Chimdi Chekwa, James Dockery, Neiko Thorpe (great height), Dexter McDonald, Rob Daniel, Travell Dixon and SaQwan Edwards for 2 spots, that’s going to be a really interest watch.
Recent UDFA signing Michael Dyer is a very interesting acquisition, this steamroller of a running back has REAL talent but unfortunately foolishness earlier in his career has put a proverbial spanner in the works.
He even broke one of Bo Jacksons Auburn rushing records early in his career, before it all started to go wrong. Whatever issues he has had, from our point of view, they are in the past and lets start afresh. So what does this kid offer?
Quite fast (a 4.6 second 40 time I think, but 4.4 earlier in his career, so he can probably get this back with proper conditioning work).
Got good hands
Could be a steal as a UDFA….indeed if it wasn’t for his troubles earlier in his college career he’d have been a first or second rounder, all kids deserve a second chance so lets see if the Auburn Michael Dyer (as a player) can return:-
A little bit of clarity on one of the Oakland Raiders UDFA signings, the BYU CB that we signed is called Robertson Daniels and not Daniel Robertson as I’ve seen it misquoted in a few places.
This kid is long and fast, and with a bit of coaching could be a really good player. What I really like about BYU CB Robertson Daniel is his man-coverage skills, couple these with his raw materials and we could have a real player on our hands. My ideal CB would be plus six foot tall and run a sub 4.5 40 time, he does both of these things, unfortunately he’s raw, but that is what training camp and coaching are all about. We don’t have huge depth at CB, hence any standout performer in camp will likely make a push for the roster, lets see what Daniel Robertson has to offer.
So we signed a lot of players over the draft weekend, and I will get to analyzing them all one by one, but first I thought I’d bring to your attention a bit of a super-sleeper that very few of the ‘experts’ have mentioned – Milton Williams.
In the raft of UDFA signings one of the unpolished gems that we picked up was Milton Williams, a WR from Delaware State. This kid is big, is athletic (makes a great jump-ball target), has good hands and runs real fast, see for yourself on his highlight film (below).
One thing that really stood out to me is that our new WR also has experience as a punter, always worth having cover in the squad for other positions. I’d be very interested in us maintaining work on his punting as you never know when injuries will hit.
It may take some time, as it tends to with UDFA, but this kid has real potential and I will be watching closely for him in training camp….expect flashes on genius.
The possibility of an Amari Cooper signing this week – with the number four pick in the 2015 nfl draft – has me thinking/harking-back to Jerry Rice….Don’t scoff, I’m serious, the smoothness both of these players possess, coupled with their incredible professionalism and love of the position have me thinking Amari Cooper could be a great signing come the draft.
Whoever gets Amari Cooper not only gets a three-year standout from Alabama, but also an incredible pro-ready receiver who would instantly improve not just their receiving corps but also the play of their QB.
Imagine a Derek Carr that not only has a resurgent Michael Crabtree to pass to, but also a dynamic young pass catcher in Amari Cooper (or even Kevin White), an improve OL (Hudson offering upside at C, while Jackson improves with experience at guard and the right side of the line is instantly better with Howard moving back to his natural position of RT), and a much improved running game.
This is a really good WR-talent pool that some observers think could even eclipse 2014