2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Josh Uche
Position: Linebacker/Defensive End
Weight: 244 pounds
The jolt from the snap and the acceleration in coverage allow Uche the freedom to guess and play a bit more aggressively than most. As a rusher, his timing, in concert with that first step brings the quarterback’s attention to him. Meanwhile, in space, Uche closes with abandon and makes the stop. Regardless of what the stopwatch says, Uche demonstrates football speed.
Despite standing just 6’1”, Uche’s arms provide a good tackle radius. Plus, he uses that reach to capture and contact the target. Unlike many edge rush prospects, Uche will drive through the ballcarriers with some force, generated by his burst. Besides, Uche chops at the ball while making certain hits, causing fumbles.
When watching the film on Uche, watch his feet first, nothing else. Observe the ability to get off the snap. Immediately, Uche gets that advantage. From there, he converts speed to pull, offering a decent bull rush that stands blockers up. Although it’s not refined yet, the bull remains a part of the arsenal. More importantly, Uche’s dip and flexibility on either side of the line gains him wins, even though the tackle looks to keep the upper hand. Granted, these tools form the decent groundwork for a repertoire.
Despite his knack as a rusher, Uche boasts the tools to play as a three-down 4-3 linebacker. He processes well. With his speed, he covers the ground and possesses the change-of-direction to factor in the passing game, if he’s not rushing.
The Raiders lack dynamic talent within the front seven. While Maxx Crosby exudes the traits of a playmaker with the film to show, few others do. Mo Hurst flashes. Clelin Ferrell also displays a scintilla of the ability for wrecking gameplans. Many others don’t. The defensive front needs to pose problems.
In drafting Uche, the Raiders solve two massive issues in a well fell swoop. With a glaring need at linebacker, Uche could settle into a starting spot on the outside. His athleticism translates to the position, with the ability to stay with backs and tight ends. Not only provide adequate coverage but make plays in coverage. Sooner or later, Uche will break on a ball and go the other way with it. On top of this, Uche will claim an end spot on passing downs. Coupled with Maxx Crosby on the outside, Clelin Ferrell and Mo Hurst/Dion Jordan on the inside, the Raiders could field a NASCAR package. imagine giving Mahomes, Lock, or whoever plays in LA zero time to drop back. The offense will double someone. Chances are they will choose Crosby. As a result, Uche will see single blocking and should feast on slower tackles. Uche could be a Day Two selection for Las Vegas.