2018 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Genard Avery
Weight: 250 pounds
Round Projection: 4-7
During Avery’s career in Memphis, he earned a reputation as a fierce run stopper. When he contacts the ballcarrier, Avery immediately stops the play. What stands out about Avery’s tackling technique is force. In order to observe Avery, look at his hands. When he wraps up, Avery tenses his grip, preventing wiggle. Instead of letting gravity work, either Avery will drive through or gator rolls his target. That is to say, Avery will wrap up and twist his opponent to the ground with force.
The Memphis defense called for blitzes and linebackers to attack the backfield. Regardless of run or pass, Avery needed to penetrate. To his credit, Avery used power to shove guards out of the way to disrupt plays.
Granted, no one will mistake Avery for a speedster. Yet, he gets the job done with sneaky burst and short area quickness. While not fluid, Avery gets decent turn-and-run in a limited zone. When surfing through trash on screens and blitzes, Avery makes himself skinny enough to make the player. Whether bending the corner or sneaking through, Avery’s nimbleness surprises. More importantly, he never looks out of a play. Part of speed is constant motion. Avery will run downfield, shed blocks, but will eye the ball.
At Memphis, Avery’s responsibilities fluctuated from covering the near boundary to patrolling the middle. Avery looks comfortable away from the line of scrimmage. As a result, Avery can trail tight ends on drags and running backs in the flat.
When you look at Avery’s frame, production, and explosive hitting, the name Vontaze Burfict comes to the surface. Burfict, a stalwart in Paul Guenther’s Bengals’ defense, operated the middle. With a similar playing style, Avery fits into what Guenther could bring to the Raiders. However, Oakland may bring NaVorro Bowman. If his price is too high, Avery slides in as a perfect fit. As much of a leader as Bowman is, Avery presents an athletic upgrade. He is a much better blitzer and will make not only the textbook, but the highlight plays as well.
In the Paul Guenther’s A-gap scheme, linebackers will show blitz, in order to confuse the offense. If Avery rushes, he can get home. Normally, middle linebackers are more of a disruption blitzer, not capable of securing the sacks. On the other hand, Avery’s dexterity and power will allow him to shut plays down.