2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Dante Olson
School: The University of Montana
Weight: 240 pounds
397 tackles, 26 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 3 INT, 9 PD, 5 FF
Angry, decisive, with force. Now, let’s break this down into parts. First, Olson hits the target with force created from his toes through his back. Equally important, he wraps up and drives with above-average pad level. Next, Olson finishes plays quickly. That is to say, he will attempt to muscle to the ground, preventing yards after contact. Lastly, whether in space or in traffic, Olson displays the ability to jar the ball loose. Five forced fumbles suggests that he wants to divorce the ball from its previous holder.
Put the stopwatch down and watch the tape. Olson runs with instinct and a feel for the play. Whatever time he clocks at the Combine will be enhanced by the knack for crisp decision-making. Despite average speed, Olson’s timing and feel will make him appear faster. As a result, he profiles as a sound blitzer, finishing the quarterback after contact.
During his career with the Grizzlies, Olson would line up ten yards off occasionally. In that deep of a drop, he fits well within a zone situation. When tasked with covering the back, he anticipates and slides to meet shadow the back with ease.
When watching his film, Olson processes quickly, exhibiting a spot/strike capability. He sniffs out the play and immediately adjusts accordingly. With no wasted motion, he’ll either continue into his coverage responsibility or barrel towards the run.
As of this writing, Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow tallied fourteen total missed tackles. As a result, a five-yard gain will turn into a twelve-yard catastrophe. For a group that emphasizes stopping the run, the linebackers whiff on too many tackles. Additionally, the angles of approach don’t force the ballcarrier to change their approach. Meanwhile, the pass defense remains actually worse. Whitehead surrendered six touchdowns through the air and 331 yards through the air. Also, the linebackers present next to no pass rush capabilities. Blitzing does not help them. It creates a vacant space that receivers find.
Despite not being a potential first day pick, Olson presents the ceiling to start on Sundays. The Raiders linebackers need a complete renovation. Olson, based on instinct, attitude and approach alone would improve the unit. When you add in the technique, improved coverage and ability to tackle, Olson fits in for so many reasons. Paul Guenther, a former small college linebacker probably knows of Olson. More importantly, he sees a player that would bolster his defense. Olson drives through blockers and makes plays by himself. On top of that, he features enough size to satisfy Guenther’s penchant for larger linebackers. Imagine a linebacker that size, that will destroy ballcarriers, but not incur suspensions or stupid penalties. Expect a Day Three selection for the former Montana standout.