In depth analysis Raiders draft pick Shalom Luani
The Oakland Raiders started day three of the NFL Draft with five picks and ended it with six new players thanks to a trade back in the sixth round. That left the Raiders without a sixth round pick but with two more seventh round picks. With those picks. Reggie McKenzie added a safety. an offensive tackle, a running back and a defensive tackle.
The first of those picks was safety Shalom Luani. Here’s a look at what he brings the Raiders.
Luani’s claim to fame heading into the draft was his history as the other kind of football player, what we in America call soccer. At the age of 17, Luani scored a goal in a World Cup qualifier for his native American Samoa against Tonga. But while that made for good television in the lead up to the draft, it’s also worth noting that Luani is a natural athlete who makes for a project with upside.
His soccer skills show in his footwork and ability to react and change directions. Does better when facing the quarterback so he can read, react and make a play on the ball. Besides that, he’s a pretty raw prospect. First and foremost he’s a poor tackler and that makes him a liability in the deep secondary. As a result, he was used more as a LB/S hybrid who spent most of his time playing close to the line of scrimmage. While that helped prevent giving up huge plays, it didn’t help his struggles in run play recognition. Theoretically, the Raiders could move him to linebacker only but that doesn’t seem like the greatest idea given his issue with missed tackles.
Luani is a project but an interesting one because of his athletic upside. But his deficiencies are pretty glaring, especially given the roles he would be asked to play. Being a poor tackler and struggling to recognize run playrs are rough things to overcome as a safety who plays close to the line of scrimmage.
- April 30, 2020
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- james arcellana