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NFL Draft

4 Off-the-Radar Draft Prospects Raiders Fans Should Know

4 Off-the-Radar Draft Prospects Raiders Fans Should Know

With the draft season coming to its conclusion soon, here are some names you might not hear all the time but Raiders fans should become familiar with them.

With three picks in the first round of the NFL Draft, the Raiders will have a plethora of prospects to choose from. Their first-round pick at No. 4 will have little mystery as the Raiders are in a position to sit there and see which of the top prospects falls to them.  The two late first-round and early second pick will depend on how the draft unfolds.

Let’s shed some light on a few prospects that are possibilities for the Raiders as they progress through the draft. These guys don’t get the coverage they deserve but Raider Nation should get to know them as they might just seem them in the silver and black next season.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

At 5’ 9”  209lbs Jacobs is a powerful runner that was the bell cow for the Bama offense later in the season when the games mattered.  Being the 3rdback has allowed Jacobs to come into the NFL with a lot less wear and tear on his body than most top running backs. Elite Vison is one of Jacobs best traits, which allows him to hit the hole fast and set up defenders in the run game. Once he sets up the defender he can either try and shake the defender with his great footwork or just run through the defender with his power.  He is a true 3 down back with his more than adequate pass catching and borderline elite pass blocking.  Lack of elite speed is the only thing keeping Jacobs from being a top 15 pick.

Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

A top 5 name to go with first round potential Rock Ya Sin will be an interesting option to put on the other side of Conley in the Raiders secondary.  Good length and physicality are the hallmarks of his game and would translate best in a press man system but athletic enough for zone schemes.  Sin has good ball skills but often will play the receiver instead of the ball leading to his low production numbers.  He lacks ideal long speed but makes up for that with his physicality at the line.  Late first or early second Sin should hear his name called.

Temple’s Ya-Sin might be a great grab for the Raiders at CB.

Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Abram has had his name skyrocket up some draft boards as of late. His super high motor and elite size and speed for the position make Abram a heat seeking missile in the secondary.  Abram is super aggressive, but looks to lay the big hit on a receiver rather than make a play on the ball.  His poor ball recognition will push him to a strong safety role as opposed to a free safety.  His size and speed could translate into an undersized LB in nickel and dime packages where Abram would be free to just lay the wood on the ball carrier.

Abram is a great talent Raider Nation should keep their eyes on.

L.J. Collier, EDGE, TCU

While talking with a friend in the league a few days ago I asked for one name that might sneak into the first round that would be a huge surprise, his answer was Collier.  A raw but enticing prospect Collier has the length that dline coaches covet. Good burst off the line and a high running motor allow him to convert speed to power effortlessly.  Hand usage and counters are not where you want them to be in a first rounder, but you see enough flashes to work with. 

Come draft week you will hear more about these and other prospects, but just remember what I said on the radio show a few weeks ago…”everything you hear is a lie”.

Kelly Kriner is a long-time football handicapper and draft analyst and appears on our CBS Sports Radio 1140 show when he's able to get up that early. Hailing from Indiana, Kriner calls Las Vegas home despite the fact Las Vegas doesn't claim him.

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