Reports that Oakland Raider OL guru Mike Tice was at Stanford’s pro-day has me wondering who we might be looking to draft. Now although we already have one of the best OL’s in the league – that got real AWESOME with the signing of Kelechi Osemele from the Ravens and the re-signing of Donald Penn – Mike Tice is clearly looking longer term, and for OL prospects that he can coach up.
The main Stanford OL prospects in the 2016 draft class are:-
Garnett is probably the second or third best guard in this year’s draft class – and at 6’4″ and 315 lbs he’s real similar man-mountain to the two incumbents we’ve likely got starting in 2016, Gabe Jackson & Kelechi Osemele. Now as much as I’d like to sign this kid, I don’t see him lasting past the 2nd round, and given the talent we already have at guard (and don’t forget Feliciano’s development), its hard to justify us spending an early rounder on another guard. If for some crazy reason he falls to the fourth or fifth round, however, I say ‘pounce’….the third round, I’d have to get thinking really hard!
The kid I think Tice is really concentrating on, however, is the slightly less hyped Kyle Murphy, he’s a big 6’6″ OT, a position of much greater need to us and will potentially be available to us in the 4th round, certainly the 3rd. He’s more of a RT than a LT, although Murphy did play LT as a senior, is Tice thinks he has the raw talent to potentially play LT in a couple of years then I say ‘roll he 4th round dice”. Murphy is a bright kid, with long arms and good genetics – his brother played for Harvard and the Vikings. Bright obviously the Murphy family could be the developmental OL-peg we need, and what better place to learn than under Tice, Penn and Howard.
Espn reports that the Raiders are considering using Amari Cooper in the return game suck. Why risk our future star, not only to injuries but also to not focusing on where we need him best, catching passes.
I also don’t like vague rumors of Latavius Murruy returning kicks, or TJ Carrie for that matter, we signed Trindon Holliday for a reason, he’s a return star (who unfortunately developed a nasty habit of fumbling, but with good coaching this can be worked on).
We have to focus on Holliday, Taiwan Jones or one of the reserve WR’s/DB’s returning kick/punts, not a potential starter…..no way.
One of the long-shots on the Oakland Raider’s roster that I am more excited about is OLB “Ray-Ray” Armstrong. The former University of Miami LB has serious intensity and according to reports from OTA’s has really been impressing.
The thing I like best about “Ray-Ray” is his passion, this kid obviously loves football and in a LB-grouping that includes Khalil Mack, Sio Moore (Mr Intensity himself) and Malcolm Smith it is quite possible that a real quality grouping emerges.
In the past Ray-Ray Armstrong has sometimes struggled with missed tackles and poor positional play, but (if OTA reports are true) he’s really improved this offseason. Lets give Ray-Ray a chance, he only has a couple of years experience at LB, having played S in college….a plus being here his coverage skills exceeded many backup LBs.
When the Oakland Raiders saw the Carolina Panthers cut LB Horace Miller they pounced. Not only was this kid on the Seattle Seahawks books last year, hence our defensive co-ordinator Ken Norton Jr. personally knows his talents, but he also got playing time with the Panthers, boosting amazing speed and tremendous motor.
Coming out of Texas-El Paso college, Horace Miller looked the real deal, putting lots of pressure on opposing QB’s, wrapping up RB’s and showing decent coverage skills, his main problem being his size. At 6’0″ and 235 lbs most teams think he’s too small. Its really the height. At 6’2″ and, even the same weight, he’d have gone in the second-to-fifth round of the 2014 draft. But surely one or two inches hardly matter – no sexual innuendo intended – the kid put up a 4.4 second 40 time (amazing for a LB) and our defensive co-ordinator has inside knowledge of his talents and wants him. Remeber this kid, he could be a surprise for many people this year.
We also brought Milton Williams back, cutting Austin Hill and Travell Dixon.
With Derek Carr out nursing a finger injury, Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin have been sharing first team reps at Oakland Raider’s OTAs and the one clear take-away that I could gather was that former first round draft pick Christian Ponder looked really good.
Ponder has always has a nice rhythm to his passing, his down fall in his early nfl career with the Minnesota Vikings being his tendency to fluster under pressure, but maybe (and its a big maybe) the change of scenery, lack of pressure and time to develop will allow him to iron out this very important flaw. Christian Ponder has always had good feet and a nice west-coast short-passing game but he has often suffered from a lack of zip on his longer balls and somewhat panicked-style. At OTA’s however he has looked smooth and very impressive.
Yes the pressure is not there, at OTA’s, but maybe (just maybe) this young man just needed some time to mature. As long as we mainly want to run the ball, just playing west-coast offence at QB, Christian Ponder should/could be fine. Yes, I’d much rather see Derek Carr developing, but if he’s carrying an injury lets not push it, no need to risk Carr long term future, instead lets give the keys of the juggernaut to Christian Ponder and see where he can take us.
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.