2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Darius West
School: The University of Kentucky
Weight: 210 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
At the combine, West timed at 4.39 in the 40. More importantly, his film helps back up these numbers. From a standstill, you can see West streak towards the play. Surprisingly, he did not notch a sack during his UK career. Yet, at the next level, he could function as a defensive back with the green light to put pressure on the quarterback.
At the next level, west profiles as a box safety. Meaning, he works best with the play in front of him. In vast space, that will diminish his gift for strong downhill play. If he stays with tight ends, backs or intermediate patterns that will maximize his effectiveness.
West’s style incorporates violence into hits. Although he only weighs 210 pounds, opponents will feel that in their respective chest. However, he also remains cognizant of down and distance. West is not always trying to dish out punishment. He presents the ability to breakdown, stay behind his pads, and get the proper technique down.
While Josh Allen garnered the lion’s share of competition, people credit West for injecting teeth and attitude into the Kentucky defense. Although that trait cannot be quantified, that approach is what many failing NFL teams lack.
Regardless of which free agent or higher round draft pick the Raiders will spend on a safety, the group still needs word. With West, Oakland could enjoy a Day 3/UDFA standout. First, in subpackages, his speed, and penchant for strong tackles stands out most. West could begin his depth chart climb as a backup in nickel situations. More importantly, West could thrive on special teams. Rich Bisaccia bet on Johnny Townshend as punter. Unfortunately, the rookie’s short punts put the team at a severe disadvantage. This failure placed an overwhelming burden on coverage teams. In West, the Oakland Raiders could use his burst to send him screaming downfield, hopefully negating the awful kicking. On top of that, West’s fiery attitude is infectious. The man loves contact and hitting.