Now that some time has passed since the NFL Combine and we’ve had a week to process the results, let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers from Indianapolis that could be on Oakland’s radar come draft time. The Raiders need help at multiple spots.
Going into the combine, Sony Michel looked like the running back to have from the Georgia backfield. Moreover, in all honestly, it is still the case for many out there ranking the RB’s. The gap between Michel and Nick Chubb may have gotten smaller though. Chubb finished with the sixth fastest 40-yard time, tied with Saquon Barkley for most bench press reps, fourth best vertical jump, and second best broad jump. Outside of Barkley, the next most impressive combine. Chubb may have vaulted himself into first round consideration. If he stays in the second round, Reggie McKenzie may have to pick between Chubb and Michel.
Boy, can DJ Chark fly! The former LSU speedster put on a show in Indianapolis. Chark had the fastest time among wide receivers at 4.32 seconds, the best vertical jump, and the fourth best broad jump at the combine. Chark, who measured 6’2’ and 199 pounds, has phenomenal speed to match with his great size. In addition, for whatever reason, the last few LSU receivers to play in the NFL have been good. The Raiders could be in the market for a wide receiver in the draft, if they strike out in free agency and decide to let go of Michael Crabtree. Chark will be an interesting prospect.
Roquan Smith is not dropping out of first round, or even the top 15. Yet, it would have been nice to see him perform the entire combine at his new weight, 233 pounds. Unfortunately, the 2017 SEC Defensive Player of the Year tweak his hamstring after his first run of the day and was out for the remaining events. Tre Edmunds and Vita Vea, two other names linked to the Raiders at #10, looked, and performed well at the combine. Smith still have his pro day to show all the scouts what he looks like with the additional 10 pounds, so no need to panic just yet. The game tape on Smith is still outstanding.
Ronald Jones Jr.
Similar to Smith, Ronald Jones was not able to finish his day due to tightness in his hamstring. Unlike Smith, who still ran a fast 4.51 seconds, Jones crossed the line at 4.66. Jones looked like a favorite to be the first running back selected after Barkley and Guice However, he may have put some questions marks for some teams that select later in the late first round. His pro day will be huge for some evaluators. The importance to the Raiders? He could drop out of the first round and be in the mix in the second round. McKenzie could have some great RB options in the second round.