The Oakland Raiders are in a dogfight for the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Now, they sit tied for the league’s worst record. As if trading an All-Pro DE would not be hard enough to replace, They never filled holes. Whether or not the Raiders will fill all of their gaps remains up in the air. However, they need multiple edge rushers. While household names like Nick Bosa will be available early, one player who could make an immediate impact on Day Two.
In terms of athletics, most know Old Dominion primarily as a basketball school, making nearly a dozen NCAA Tournament appearances. Yet, defensive end Oshane Ximines is looking to be the first ever player drafted to the NFL from the school. As of last week, Ximines received an invite to the coveted Senior Bowl. In return this gives him a great chance. Ximines’ hard work earned recognition, as the fifth-year senior has managed to distinguish himself among a superb group of defensive ends.
At 6’4 255 pounds, the fifth-year senior has the physical makeup to translate to the next level. While Ximines’ athleticism does not feel elite, he shows pretty good body control on inside swim and spin moves.
The biggest reason why Ximines has 32.5 career sacks and counting is because of his fierce hands. Violent hands are the name of the game for defensive linemen, and Ximines has some of the best in this class. Ximines can do it all, from a swipe to the long-arm to the club, and he does it flawlessly on a consistent basis.
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Another draw for Ximines is a high motor, no matter what the score or how many plays have transpired before the defense gets off the field. Many of his sacks or tackles for losses are second and third effort plays, tossing blockers, and fighting through double teams.
Ximines is not the fastest guy, but he does have decent quickness, pairing that with his handwork which allows him to get in the backfield.
However, Ximines’ awkward bend and dip is the difference in being a first and second rounder. The debate of athleticism versus production is a constant around this time in relation to prospects, and it will be the case with Ximines.
In terms of the run game, Ximines has the ability to attack the run with fervor, when he doesn’t get washed out. Even at 255, Ximines would benefit from a combine invite to show how strong he is, and a few more pounds of muscle would not hurt.
Another critique of Ximines will be the small sample size of upper-echelon talent he’s went against. Old Dominion isn’t exactly a household football name, but when he’s had the chance to compete against bigger schools, Ximines has shown up.
Ximines led the way for ODU to upset Virginia Tech 49-35 in September. His two sacks and seven tackles sparked the win.
The Raiders need as much help as they can get off the edge. Ximines can come in and contribute immediately as a rotation rusher. Depending on how Oakland addresses the position will factor in. With some work on his technique and gained experience, Ximines can develop into a starter.