P.W2 “Raider-2-Watch”: Ben Heeney

MLB Ben Heeney mans the middle.

Last week vs. St. Louis Raiders rookie MLB showed instincts and range. Could this late round pick become the Raiders’ Chris Borland? An unheralded overachiever whose sum is greater than his individual measureables? Some are even starting to question whether Heeney could unseat recent free agent acquisition Curtis Lofton. Let’s compare the two:

Curtis Lofton
Ht: 6’00”
Wt: 246lbs
40: 4.67
10 split: 1.61
Bench: 23
Vert: 32
Broad: 9’04”
Shuttle: 4.54
3 Cone: 7.52

Ben Heeney
Ht: 6’00 1/4″
Wt: 231lbs
40: 4.59
10 split: 1.61
Bench: 19
Vert: 33 1/2
Broad: 10’00”
Shuttle: 4.00
3 Cone: 6.68

What this comparison suggests is that while Lofton may be more stout, Heeney might be more athletic and sudden. A “Mike” kept clean playing behind “Meat & Potatoes”, as the Raiders beefy interior defensive line duo of Dan Williams and Justin Ellis is affectionately referred to, with more range and coverage skills might be the more effective player.

Curtis Lofton was a salary cap cut by the Saints after being unable to find a trade partner for Lofton. The Raiders attraction to Lofton is that he routinely is near the top of the league in tackles and led the NFL in tackles in 2015 with 123 but was also rated the least effective inside linebacker by Pro Football Focus that same year. The numbers suggest that Lofton missed a LOT of tackles and his numbers were the result of playing behind a porous defensive line.

Against the Rams backups, Heeney showed really well and has an increasing number of Raider fans excited about his potential making Ben Heeney one “Raider 2 Watch” vs. the Vikings.

 

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