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A very encouraging off-season saw many contributors

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A very encouraging off-season saw many contributors
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added to the Raiders. It also saw some key depatures. Chief among them was Jared Cook who left as a free agent to sign with the Saints. Cook was..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Raiders StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Raiders NewsYahoo Raiders Team PageYahoo Raiders ReportYahoo Raiders Depth ChartYahoo Raiders TransactionsYahoo Raiders PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub ✕Raiders Draft 2019Raiders 2019 Draft Radar: Tight endsNew Emmanuel Lamur Jersey ,24commentsPDTShareTweetShareShareRaiders 2019 Draft Radar: Tight endsBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsA very encouraging off-season saw many contributors added to the Raiders. It also saw some key depatures. Chief among them was Jared Cook who left as a free agent to sign with the Saints. Cook was the best receiver in Silver and Black last season. The lone bright spot on offense, Cook proved to be Carrís security blanket for much of the season.The veteran tight end is one of the few tight ends in the NFL with devastating run after catch ability and who can also stretch the seam. Cook could line up in-line as a traditional Y tight end or split out wide and create a tough mismatch for any defense. He leaves big shoes for incumbent tight ends on the current roster including Darren Waller, Derek Carrier, Paul Butler, Luke Willson, and of course Lee Smith.The current tight end room has different flavors, each of whom can add something special to the team from leadership, blocking, athleticism, or even special teams. None of the current group of tight ends however has shown the ability to fill Cookís shoes.Should the Raiders feel the need to add a player to this group there are several prospects with upside whom the Raiders could target at some point in the draft.This yearís crop of tight ends is almost universally considered to be one of the most talented in years. Hereís a few who could intrigue the Raiders at various points in this draft.Noah Fant, Iowa ó Round 1Fant came into the season as the consensus number one tight end. The emergence of another tight end on the Iowa roster however seemed to supplant him as the favorite. Fantís teammate TJ Hockenson likely wonít be there when the Raiders figure to begin looking at the position later in round one.Both Fant and Hockenson are clearly the best tight ends in the draft. Fant might have more upside even considering his rare athleticism for the position posting elite numbers at the combine (4.5 40 yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical, 6.81 3-cone drill). He is often labeled as an athletic tight end who is more of a receiver but this isnít the whole truth. Fant is one of the better blockers in this class showing great technique and effort as an in-line run blocker.Fant has the ability to line up anywhere in an offense and could turn out to be a similar mismatch weapon that Cook has been in the NFL.Dawson Knox, Mississippi ó Round 3Knox is an interesting prospect because he simply wasnít used much as a receiver during his time at Ole Miss. When the ball was thrown his way, however, he looked darn good. A former basketball star, Knox is well known for being an elite athlete for any position. Knox churned out a 40 in the 4.5 range at the 2019 combine and performed solid to great in the rest of the drills.Knox isnít just a great athlete, he proved to be a great blocker at Ole Miss not only at the line of scrimmage but downfield springing the his talented teammates free for long runs. Knox is all projection at this point because he wasnít asked to catch the ball much in college. Because of his upside, many are quick to overlook the fact he had zero total touchdowns and only played in 18 games over 3 college seasons. A former walk-on who had to earn his scholarship, he a fun prospect to root for. The Raiders have been known to make bold moves in the draft. One team will fall in love with Knox enough to pull the trigger and it could happen day 2.Caleb Wilson, UCLA ó Round 4Wilson is the other tight end with great yardage production amassing 1679 yards in college football. Wilson did this against Power 5 opponents. He has prototypical size like other tight ends on this list but may not be as incredible of an athlete. Wilson did run 4.56 in the 40 yard dash but scored below average in just about every other drill including a 29 inch vertical which is very poor for any NFL player who is not a linemen.Wilsonís speed shows up on tape Tahir Whitehead Jersey , more smooth than athletic, Wilson glides through secondaries with ease. When it comes to elevating for catches however, he isnít as gifted in this area. Wilson is a willing run blocker who lacks the strength and hip drive to be truly effective. Overall Wilson projects as a receiving tight end who could develop into a more traditional role at some point. In round 5 there likely wonít be a better tight end left on the board.Alize Mack, Notre Dame ó Round 5Mack is a poor manís Noah Fant. Almost equal in size but slightly less athletic and much less productive. Mack is a very good blocker and on tape shows the ability to stretch the seam and beat defenders downfield. He doesnít have the same wiggle as a route runner however and needs to improve his breaks at the top of the route before he can maximize his receiving ability.A proven quality Mack possesses as a receiver at this point is his ability to win contested catches. He uses his 6í4, 250lb frame to box out defenders and he has the acrobatic ability to twist his body to haul in passes from difficult angles. If he puts it altogether, he could be one of the better tight ends in this entire class. Also his last name looks good on a Raiderís jersey so thereís that.Donald Parham, Stetson ó Round 6-7If you havenít heard of Parham before this article, itís time to do some research on this athletic freak of nature. Coming from a small school, Parham has been understandably overlooked in this draft class. Once you learn his numbers however, you can never go back.Standing at over 6í8 243lbs, Parham has 36 5/8 inch arms and a 7 foot wingspan. Not to mention a 4.7 40 yard dash combined with a 38.5 inch vertical. But Parham isnít just a workout warrior with incredible size, he absolutely dominated FCS football. With 20 touchdowns and 2,591 yards in 3 seasons, both numbers good for best in class. No other draft eligible tight end had more than 1700 yards receiving in their college career. What makes Parhamís evaluation so interesting is that while he has world class size, he wasnít used as a traditional tight end much in college, instead running the bulk of his routes from the slot.Parham might not be able to dominate the NFL like he did the FCS but the team who drafts him will be getting a potentially unguardable athlete.Editorís note: Yes, we realize the Raiders donít have picks in rounds 3 and 6. Their projection in that round would be dependent upon the Raiders trading back into that round or perhaps being available in the following round. How does the staff at Silver & Black Pride view the Raiders selection of Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell?"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Raiders StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Raiders NewsYahoo Raiders Team PageYahoo Raiders ReportYahoo Raiders Depth ChartYahoo Raiders TransactionsYahoo Raiders PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub ✕Raiders Draft 2019Immediate reactions, grades to Raiders selection of Clelin Ferrell at fourth overallNew,189commentsHow does the staff at Silver & Black Pride view the Raiders selection of Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell?PDTShareTweetShareShareImmediate reactions, grades to Raiders selection of Clelin Ferrell at fourth overallMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsWith the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell. Here is how the S&BP staff instant reactions to the selection:Tyler GreenThe NFL Draft is all about value Tank Carradine Jersey , and the Raiders selection of Clelil Ferrell with the fourth overall pick is poor value. Oakland could have likely had the same player in the middle of the first round while also picking Josh Allen or Ed Oliver at four. The Clemson defensive end is a scheme fit and recorded 21 sacks over the past two seasons, but he was a reach where the Raiders drafted him. Grade: C-Ryan LiptonWith so many other pass rushers available, Ferrell seems like a reach at No. 4 overall. It might not have been enticing to trade down considering the Jets couldnít trade the No. 3 pick, but picking up any draft capital to move down would have been better than taking Ferrell considering he or many other equivalent pass-rushing prospects would have been available in the middle of the first round. Grade: C-BD WilliamsFerrell is an old school defensive end who can play the run and rush the passer. A great complement as a power rusher to Arden Keyís speed rush on the other side of the defensive line.Paul Guentherís scheme needs a defensive end who can 2 gap and potentially play inside techniques along with rushing off the edge. Raiders got a lot better at defensive end. Only nitpick would be maybe Ferrell would have been available in a trade back scenario in the middle of round 1.Grade: A-Thomas WheatonObviously the Raiders really...really...really wanted Clelin Ferrell to fix their pass rush, but rather than picking him in the teens or even early twenties, they reached on him at four. I love Ferrellís game, but he could have been selected later. Because of that, the value goes down a little bit. However, Ferrell is a high-character, high-motor defensive end who is strong in both phases of defense. He has great length and a quick step off, and is strong enough to set the edge and play the run. Ferrell is a great piece to add to a defense desperately needing talent. The Raiders got a solid player they will lean on for years to come.Grade: B+Marcus KrauseClelin Ferrell is a good player who is a solid addition to the Raiders, the only problem is that he shouldnít have been picked at 4. This is without a doubt a reach, if they wanted him they should have traded back or traded up from their 24th overall to get him. The player himself Iím happy to have as a Raider, the lower grade is simply because he was taken too soon. Either way, in the end itís a guy that fits a huge need for the Raiders and is not a QB.Grade: BLevi DamienClelin Ferrell is a perfect fit for what the Raiders needed in Paul Guentherís defense. He has all the production you could ask for from a prospect. Itís the reason I had the Raiders taking him in both my 2-round mock draft and my 7-round Raiders mock draft. However, in both instances I had them trading down first. Most had Ferrell below the likes of Brian Burns and Montez Sweat. The Raiders had other ideas. It would have been nice to move down and get some extra picks, but Ferrell was their guy all along, clearly. They didnít think he would be there had they traded down or perhaps with Quinnen Williams off the board, they didnít get the offers they had hoped. Grade: B



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