What to expect from the Raiders seventh round picks in year one
The Oakland Raiders traded out of the sixth round in order to accumulate seventh round picks. By the end of the draft, the Raiders had four picks in the final round. Hereâ€™s a look at what you can expect from the seventh rounders in year one:
Shalom Luani produced at a high level while playing in a strong college conference which means he has some skills. The question is whether or not he can improve on those skills enough to become a contributor at the next level. Luani is a very gifted athlete which gives him a high ceiling. Heâ€™s also got a good awareness when on the field and plays smart.
That being said, heâ€™s raw, has a big issue with missed tackles and is nowhere near ready to play at safety in the NFL. If he can learn to be a contributor on special teams, which might not be the easiest given his penchant for missed tackles, he could find his way on to the 53 man roster. There will always be competition but the safety position is pretty thin as far as depth goes, so this could help Luaniâ€™s chances as well..
Jylan Ware and the next guy we will talk about, are my favorite picks of the seventh round group. Ware has a massive frame that fits the prototype of what youâ€™d look for in an NFL tackle. The problem is, heâ€™s about as raw as they come. Not only does he need to improve his technique, footwork and pass blocking skills, he also needs time to put more mass on his frame.
Ware played at Alabama State where he never got the opportunity to play against top level competition. But while he may be behind the curve at the moment, he has everything it takes to be a solid tackle in the NFL. It could take some time but the Raiders have themselves a seventh rounder who could develop into a starter. As for year one? He will fight for a roster spot with David Sharpe and Vadal Alexander. With Donald Penn, Austin Howard and Marshall Newhouse all likely to make the roster, itâ€™s unlikely the Raiders keep six tackles. But even if Ware doesnâ€™t make the roster, heâ€™s a great practice squad candidate.
For me, this is the pick with the best value in the seventh round. Hood is a guy who might be seen as a 5th rounder or better in years with less talent at runningback.Â Even though the Raiders have three running backs, including the newly signed Marshawn Lynch, and a fullback, taking Hood was an investment in the future for a team that wants to be known for itâ€™s run game. Because of that, thereâ€™s a chance we donâ€™t see Hood at all this season.
But thereâ€™s also a chance we see a decent amount of him because for a guy whoâ€™s seen as a one trick power back, heâ€™s pretty versatile. He doesnâ€™t have the speed or agility to be a good route runner, but he has reliable hands as a dump off option that can break a tackle or two and get a few yards. But more importantly than that, he can block. He can pass block and he can run block which means he might be fighting with Jamize Olawale for a roster spot.
Both offer the fullback position some upside. While both can block, Olawale is a threat who creates mismatches catching the ball out of the backfield. Meanwhile, Hood offers a Zack Crockett style power back who will get those one or two tough yards when you need them. With Lynch there to do that this year, we might see Hood on the practice squad, but he has a role for the Raiders moving forward.
Â Treyvon Hester
He doesnâ€™t have a very high ceiling but Treyvon Hester has potential in an area that provides a lot of value. Primarily a three technique interior pass rusher, Hester has the potential to be a rotational rusher and backup. And as we all know, getting to the quarterback is incredibly valuable regardless of if you are a starter or a backup.
Hester has work to do if he wants to make the roster this season. First, he will need to maintain a good weight, something that heâ€™s struggled with in the past and is crucial to being a good pass rusher. He also needs to improve his first step quickness as he is sometimes too slow coming off of the ball. With interior rushers like Mario Edwards, Jr., Jihad Ward and Eddie Vanderdoes ahead of him, Hester will face an uphill battle to get a roster spot this season.