● 2015 Moves That Should Be Made Right Now ●
● TRADE: OAK WR DeNarius Moore for PHI DE Brandon Graham
DE Brandon Graham ● Height: 6’01 3/8” ● Weight: 268lbs ● 10: 1.61
The Skinny: This is the most polarizing move that most of us will have a problem with. Keep in mind that Raiders want to ground and pound and won’t be using that many 3 WR sets anyways. I’m putting this move here because it will affect the draft approach.
OLB/DE Brandon Graham has fallen out of favor in Philly. Graham is quick but he isn’t long and he may be a bit stiff hipped to play standing up. Conversely, WR Moore has fallen out of favor in Oakland. Chip Kelly loves speed and wants to get something for a former 1st rounder. I would trade Moore for Graham. Graham and Woodley are essentially the same skill set. If Graham doesn’t work out the Raiders can let him walk in 2015.
2015 Outlook: Rotational DE
● TRADE: 2015 7th for Detroit TE Joseph Fauria
TE Joseph Fauria ● Height: 6’07 ⅝“ ● Weight: 259lbs ● 40: 4.77
The Skinny: Fauria is buried on the depth chart and may not make the roster despite being productive for the Lions. I would use this late round pick today to solidify the position if Ausberry doesn’t come through.
2015 Outlook: Starting TE
● 2015 NFL Free Agency ●
FS Antrel Rolle ● Height: 6’00” ● Weight: 198lbs ● 40: 4.50
The Skinny: Rolle turns 32 in Dec and is playing out the final year of contract. It is highly anticipated that the Giants will let him walk as contract extension talks have been quiet. If Rolle has anything left in the tank he is exactly the type of stopgap FA the Raiders need at FS as he excels in coverage.
2015 Outlook: Starting FS
CB Tramon Williams ● Height: 5’11” ● Weight: 194lbs ● 40: 4.57
The Skinny: As a former Ted Thompson disciple runs the Raiders front office, we are becoming very familiar with how these two organizations do things. This season GB CB Tramon Williams will have played out the final year of his contract and will be a FA on the wrong side of 30 (32 yrs old), in recent years FA has not been kind to FAs over 30. GB will let Williams walk and not receiving the offers he will be expecting, Williams will be a prime candidate to join the Raiders on a team friendly short-term contract. Oakland appears to have become the rest home for GB veterans so Tramon should feel at home.
2015 Outlook: Starting RCB
● NFL Mock Draft ●
❶ Browns: DE Leonard Williams While the Browns defense is formidable the offense will be void of weapons with WR Josh Gordon suspended. The Browns are a complete circus at QB but they are committed to the development of Manziel and pass on a QB. New HC. New OC. No offensive weapons. Tough division. High draft pick.
❷ Cowboys: DE Randy Gregory
Imo, the Cowboys are going to be a dumpster fire this season. The organization has been holding the roster together with bandaids for years. This is the year the dam breaks. RT Free is going to get Romo killed. Murray can’t stay on the field and the worst defense in league lost some key defenders to injury or free agency.
❸ Browns (via Buffalo): DE/OLB Shilique Calhoun:
Manuel isn’t the answer at QB. LT Glenn has a mysterious “illness” and the Bills have enigmatic OT Henderson at LT until he is back. The Browns use the Bills pick to add a prolific edge rusher.
❹ Texans: OT Brandon Scherff:
Some may view this as an upset but Scherff is an impressive athlete who could go high in the draft after posting incredible Combine numbers. Having missed out on the edge rusher they covet the Jags add to the trenches to protect their investment at QB.
#5th Overall: Dorial Green-Beckham
Height: 6’04 ⅝” ● Weight: 225lbs ● 40: 4.49
Reminiscent of: Terrell Owens
• Excellent body control
• Huge catch radius
• Easily converts speed to power
• Route running
• Short-area quickness
• Serious character flags
The Skinny: Some mocks have DGB going in the 2nd because he won’t play football in 2014 amid a host of legal woes stemming from a domestic abuse charge and a suspension involving drug possession. DGB will sit out the season, get cleaned up, rehabilitate himself and prepare for the 2015 NFL Combine (a la Tyrann Matheiu). As a former high school Track star DGB claimed the state title in the 100m, triple-jump and second in the long-jump in Class 4 Track & Field. Words cannot adequately articulate what DGB is going to do to the draft with all this preparation time. It will be a controversial pick but DGB will jettison himself to the top of draft boards by May. I don’t call bubble screens, stop-n-go and wheel routes real route running. DGB is already dangerous but if he can learn to get in and out of breaks he would be unstoppable. Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon are the cautionary tale. A reformed NFLer a la Tyrann Mathieu the hope of Raider Nation. Expect a contract full of off-set language and a short holdout.
2015 Outlook: Starting X
#37th Overall: RB TJ Yeldon
Alabama ● Height: 6’01 ⅝” ● Weight: 218lbs ● 40: 4.46
Reminiscent of: N/A
• Excellent short area quickness
• Excellent lateral agility & balance
• Pass blocking
• Receiving skills
The Skinny: Whether Derek Carr or Schaub enters the 2015 season as the starting QB, the Raiders will make a coordinated effort to surround the QB position with a stronger supporting cast. The 2015 NFL Draft boasts depth at positions of need. Hopefully the Raiders will double dip at skill positions to make the offense more dynamic.
Tj Yeldon is one of my favorite running backs in recent years. He is an excellent blend of power and elusiveness. Yeldon doesn’t hammer defenses like Peterson but he is slippery because of his laterally agility makes it hard for defenders to get good angles. Never taking hard hits also contributes to Yeldon’s durability. I’m not high on Alabama players. I think that once Alabama players go through 3 seasons of meat grinding SEC play their players are basically used up. However, Yeldon splits time and doesn’t take a pounding.
2015 Outlook: Starting RB
#69th Overall: OT Donovan Smith
Penn State ● Height: 6’04 ⅝“ ● Weight: 335lbs ● 40: 5.12
Stock comparison: NE OT Cameron Fleming
• Length & girth
• Excellent size/speed ratio
• Strong fundamentals/Excellent pedigree
• Run blocking
• No huddle scheme
The Skinny: Penn State LT Donovan Smith is quickly becoming one my favorite offensive lineman of the 2015 draft assuming that he makes himself eligible for the draft. Smith is a large mobile man who is an absolute wall in pass defense. McKenzie seems to have an affinity for Penn State prospects (Crawford ‘12, McGloin ’13).
2015 Outlook: Starting RT
#101st Overall: DE Ray Drew
Georgia ● Height: 6’04 ⅛“ ● Weight: 276lbs ● 40: 4.79
Reminiscent of: MIN DE Everson Griffen
• Good inside quickness
• Good athleticism
• Average outside quickness
The Skinny: The 2015 draft is loaded at DE, hence a solid DE prospect is bound to fall. One of my favorite prospects that I think will fall through the cracks is UGA DE Ray Drew. Coming out of highschool Drew was a highly regarded 43 DE recruit who surprised many when he signed with UGA, who runs a 34 defense base. UGA runs multiple fronts and Drew plays everything from 43 DE, 34 DE, Nickel DT to 34 OLB. Drew moves all over but his true position is 43 DE and may be a better pro than college player (a la USC alum DE Everson Griffen). Some have Drew going as high as late 1st in preseason 2015 mocks but imo Drew seems to be more effective as an interior rusher than coming off the edge. Drew is too quick for interior OL but doesn’t exhibit the kind of burst to beat long OTs from the edge. However, I think Drew does have the ability to slide inside on passing downs in the pros which makes him perfect for RDE Tuck’s role with the Raiders. Most of Drew’s sack production is the result of “effort sacks” rather than just beating OTs with quickness off the snap from the edge which is why I have him slipping. I think DEs Leonard Williams, Gregory, Calhoun, Fowler Jr., Edwards Jr., Dupree and Flowers go before Drew. Ultimately, I think the Raiders will be choosing among Frank Clark, Cedric Reed, Ray Drew, Lynden Trail, Corey Crawford or Theiren Cockran in the 4th which is not a bad lot to choose from.
2015 Outlook: Rotational LDE
#101st Overall: OG/C Jake Smith
Louisville ● Height: 6’03 ⅛“ ● Weight: 312lbs ● 40: 5.32
Stock comparison: Typical of an OG
• WCO Scheme
The Skinny: Smith is a combo guard that was coached in a system at Louisville that prides itself of versatility. The Raiders could use a versatile interior OL that can play all three spots. After having watched Smith on tape I love the way he was used as a pulling center and Louisville often ran behind Smith through the 0 hole. I believe that if healthy current C Wisniewski could go off this season and price himself out of range of the Raiders. Smith gives the Raiders contract leverage and roster flexibility
2015 Outlook: Starting C
#165th Overall: SS Jaquiski Tartt
Samford ● Height: 6’00 ⅝“ ● Weight: 218lbs ● 40: 4.56
Stock comparison: Typical of a safety
• Quality athlete
• Lack of competition
• New to the game
The Skinny: What would a Raiders mock be without the small school prospect that GM McKenzie is drawn to? Tartt is a former basketball player who played his first year of organized football as a senior in high school. However, Tartt has used his basketball skills to transition nicely into a bona fide NFL prospect at safety as he makes most pre-season watch lists in FCS football.
2015 Outlook: Safety depth
#197th Overall: Traded in 2014 for TE Joseph Fauria
RB/FB Cameron Stingily
Northern Illinois ● Height: 6’00 ⅝“ ● Weight: 235lbs ● 40: N/A
Stock comparison: Equitable value for a developmental FB
The Skinny: Stingily is a human battering ram.
2015 Outlook: Practice Squad
● Draft Summary ●
1) WR DGB
2) RB TJ Yeldon
3) OT Donovan Smith
4) DE Ray Drew
5) SS Jaquiski Tartt
6) OG/C Jake Smith
7) TE Joseph Fauria
UDFA: RB Cameron Stingily