Raiders 2019 Draft Prospect: LB David Long

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2019 Raiders Draft Profile

Name: David Long

Position: Linebacker

School: West Virginia University

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 225 pounds

Draft Round Projection: 4-5

Stats

Speed

Like he’s shot from a cannon, Long flies into the running lane, meeting the ball carrier head-on. Without hesitation, Long commits himself fully to the play. When blitzing, Long forces an immediate throw or throwaway, using outstanding twitch to time the snap. Meanwhile, when he makes plays away from the line, Long closes with burst from sideline to sideline.

Tackling

If tackling is an art, Long brings a fluid style to the game. When he claps his hands, warch for the adjustment. If the grip is not originally there, look for the quick adjustment. Whether it’s aligning the shoulder or lowering the pad level, these small nuances will make the play. Despite his smaller frame, Long features sound hip snap and drive his legs through the target.

Coverage

In short space, Long does not look out of place. Although h plays downhill, Long shows enough fluidity in space. As a result, Long profiles as a three-down linebacker. Whether it is a back, tight end or protecting against the slant. He will sit near that route, waiting to level the receiver. At the next level, Long must remain disciplined in space. Guessing could cost him.

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Agility

Due to his frame, Long uses his footwork to defeat blocks. He needs to beat the blockers by sliding across their faceby using movement, not brute force. Additonally, when chasing backside, Long will adjust on the fly, in order to make the play. With change of direction being such avaluable tool,he can quickly overcome misdirection plays.

Raiders Fit

In a regretful season, the Raiders defense showed their weaknesses early. When you look at the linebackers, the dearth of talent and playmakers should alarm you. First, while energetic, Tahir Whitehead struggles in coverage. As a result, teams pick on him in space. In the middle, the Raiders tried Lee, Johnson and others. Again, teams gashed Oakland everywhere. On the other side, Nicholas Morrow finally saw time. Under those circumstances, that says the staff may not believe him. That being said, Long fits this defense. In Paul Guenther’s scheme, he wants to generate pressure with just four. Consequently, Long would clean up the short areas of coverage. Moreover, he would fill the holes and make sound tackles in the running game. Despite his frame, Long’s heady play will give the Raiders an added element of athleticism.

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