2018 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Dylan Cantrell
School: Texas Tech
Weight: 215 pounds
In Texas Tech’s spread offense, under various passers, Cantrell needed to adjust. Under those circumstances, his hands evolved. Initially, he involved his body too often. That is to say, he trapped the ball to his body. After intensive work, Cantrell became a hand-catcher. As a result, Cantrell improved his game by repetition.
While Cantrell ran fairly well at the combine (4.59) for a bigger receiver, he stepped up during the pro day. Cantrell posted a 4.47. During games, Cantrell run to build up speed. He is a longer strider that gets to speed vertically.
Perhaps the best part of Cantrell’s game is the ability to run route. At first look, the route tree looks wide open for Cantrell. When lined up in the slot, Cantrell can win with the slant, sharp out post or quick screen. Meanwhile, on the outside, Cantrell slashes underneath on crossers and screens. When streaking vertically, he mastered the deep out in traffic. In addition, in the redzone, look for the back shoulder fade versus a small corner.
During his career in Lubbock, Cantrell need to evolve as a downfield blocker. While Seth Roberts receives acclaim for downfield blocking, Cantrell sinks his hips and drives the defender either out of bounds or to the ground. Moreover, Cantrell possesses keen awareness of his location. On the sidelines, Cantrell taps his toes after a reception. At the next level, this will translate to first downs and touchdowns.
Few wideouts exemplify Gruden Grinder more than Cantrell. The Raiders could benefit from a big body receiver in a myriad of ways. First, lining up in the slot gives Oakland an advantage as Cantrell can shield the ball from the smaller corner. Next, in the redzone, the Raiders could use Cantrell, as a player that can win jump balls will regularity.
In essence, Cantrell gives the Raiders a young receiver that could learn under Jordy Nelson. Cantrell and Nelson possess similar frames physically. Although Nelson plays with more explosion, Cantrell could easily climb his way up the depth chart over the course of a couple seasons. The Raiders need an infusion of sure0handed pass catchers.