Raiders

Senior Bowl Targets for the Silver and Black

On Saturday, the Reese’s Senior Bowl capped off a week of hard work for potential NFL draft prospects in Mobile, Alabama. An event that was created to showcase collegiate talent, did not disappoint as many individual performances made for a competitive atmosphere. For the Las Vegas Raiders, there were athletes that made strong cases to fill roster needs moving forward.

Raiders Draft: Senior Bowl Targets for the Silver and Black

The Senior Bowl’s motto “The draft starts in Mobile!” was validated last year as the 2019 edition provided six current Raiders players.

  • Johnathan Abram
  • Te’Von Coney
  • Keelan Doss
  • Alec Ingold
  • Foster Moreau
  • Isaiah Johnson

General manager Mike Mayock will look to duplicate last year’s success in this April’s draft and after Saturday’s game, there were specific performances that should have peaked the Raiders interest.

Bradlee Anae, Utah

Edge defender Bradlee Anae was arguably the most dominant player on the field for either team on Saturday. He was a terror for offensive tackles and finished the day with three sacks and was in the backfield consistently. One of his pressures, led to a turnover.

Bradlee’s forte, as you can see above, is getting to the quarterback. His disruptive nature would be a fine addition on the Las Vegas defensive line.

Related: Trayvon Mullen’s Year in Review

As of now, he projects between the second and third round according to pundits. If the Raiders acquire a second round pick via trade, the Utes defender’s name is one to remember.

Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern

In case you didn’t know, kickers are important too. With Daniel Carlson’s inconsistency and uncertain future, the Raiders will perform due diligence to address position. The Senior Bowl had a kicking prospect Las Vegas should become familiar with.

The clip above was from Senior Bowl practice, so it wasn’t the real game, but it’s the concept that matters. How many NFL kickers have enough leg strength to kick 50 yards, let alone 58 and halfway up the upright? On Saturday, his conspicuous leg power was evident. Bass converted field goals from 41 and 50 yards.

Related: Darren Waller’s Year in Review

Also, he was 4/4 on point after touchdown kicks, which contributed to a perfect kicking performance. He may not be a draft selection, but the Silver and Black front office should have him on the phone as soon as the draft is completed to join the squad for rookie minicamp as an undrafted free agent.

Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

Lenoir-Rhyne University has a division two football program that hails from North Carolina. Fun fact, the first Apple Ipod did not exist the last time a Bears player was selected in a draft. The last one, John Milem, was selected in 2000. Dugger, in 2020, will reestablish the small school’s presence in the NFL. On Saturday, he was a thorn in the side of the opposing offense.

Dugger was a heat seeking missile on defense, always in the vicinity of the ball carrier. He displayed elite ability to stop the run and to cover tight ends from the safety position as seen below.

At the next level, his versatility will be coveted as a team has the option to use him at linebacker or safety. For a Raiders defense hunting for playmakers and versatility, Dugger would have an immediate role. Similar to Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas could acquire another mid round diamond in the rough from a small school.

Antonio Gibson, Memphis

The Raiders selected Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall in last year’s draft. While the potential 2019 Offensive Rookie of the year toughness is without question, it would be in the Silver and Black’s best interest to find a back to ease the wear and tear on him. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are both assets to the Raiders, but they bring similar skillsets and smaller size. A back with a blend of size and receiving ability would be a wise addition. The Tigers have just the prospect.

The 6’1′ 220 pound Gibson rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries Saturday to lead the South team in rushing yardage. The running back’s unique trait, breakaway speed, was also evident.

Gibson’s combination of explosiveness and size behind the Raider offensive line would yield dividends. Look for Las Vegas to make some noise with their fifth round pick.

Troy Pride Jr, Notre Dame

As the Senior Bowl week began, statements were made about a rather unproven cornerback group. Throughout the week of practice, Pride Jr. capitalized on the opportunity to make his name known against a plethora of talented receivers.

After a great week of practice reps, the Fighting Irish corner made the most of his time to shine during the Saturday’s game.

While the throw was ill advised, his ball skills and 33-yard return completed a great all around play by the defense. As the Raider secondary looks to improve, Notre Dame’s top defensive prospect proved that he can be an impact player. With a hoard of third round picks, Las Vegas could desire some Irish luck.

Evan Weaver, California

Last but not least is the Golden Bears linebacker. Weaver inflicted pain on opposing rushers all week of practice and didn’t stop on Saturday.

A reason why teams would shy away from him is his man coverage ability, or lack thereof, that he displayed in select practice drills leading up to Saturday’s game.

As the Raiders vow to address the linebacker position, Weaver would be a sound addition. He may not the best coverage backer, but his instinctive play and leadership are underrated assets.

Senior Bowl Synopsis

The week was full of various avenues for teams to become more familiar with prospects. Top players interviewed and met with the Raiders scouting department and gave a glimpse of what they can provide for a team that seeks to build upon an impressive 2019 draft class. Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden will undoubtedly select players that participated in this week long event.

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