We continue our Draft Possibilities series with two inside linebackers who caught the Oakland Raiders attention during the scouting and player evaluation process: Kevin Reddick and Kiko Alonso. After giving up on the underachieving Rolando McClain earlier in the off-season, the Silver & Black signed former Bears’ Nick Roach to take over the middle linebacker spot in 2013. However, that doesn’t mean general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen feel settled at the position, as one of the team’s selections might be spent in another defensive signal-caller in hope of adding depth in the short term, or maybe even a starting-caliber athlete in the near future.
The 23-year-old Kevin Reddick took over North Carolina’s starting middle linebacker spot with seven games left in his freshman season in 2009, and so remained for the rest of his college career. A three-year full-time starter and defensive captain for the Tar Heels, Reddick was a member of the North Squad during the Senior Bowl, which was led by the Oakland Raiders coaching staff. Therefore, Dennis Allen and company were able to spend a full week of practice with Reddick, when they got to notice his leadership on the field. The 6’2, 246 athlete is always very vocal with his teammates, displaying good work ethic, football I.Q. and passion for the game. However, Reddick could not translate all of that to the field at the Senior Bowl, when he was reduced to just two assisted tackles. He possesses good tackling and run-stopping skills, but isn’t very fluid nor athletic in pass coverage or in the open field. Also has experience as a pass-rusher. Reddick showed the ability to play through minor injuries to have a stellar college career, being one of the candidates to the 2012 Butkus Award. Over his three seasons as a starting MLB, Reddick averaged 76.6 tackles, 10.2 tackles for loss, 2.8 sacks and 5 pass deflections, with 2012 as his best year (85 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 6 pass deflections). At the combine, Reddick recorded a 4.72 seconds 40-yard dash and made 23 reps at the bench press.
After missing the entire 2010 season due to a DUI suspension and a torn ACL injury, the 22-year-old Kiko Alonso was able to finally crack Oregon’s starting squad in 2011, for five out of 12 games, then earning a full-time starter spot in 2012. The 6’3, 238 linebacker’s main qualities are his athleticism, aggressiveness and extremely high-motor on the field. Possesses good playmaking ability, intensity and quickness. Needs to work on his run-stopping skills and awareness when facing opposing blockers. Impressed at his senior year, when he recorded 81 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 pass deflections and 4 interceptions, being selected to the second team All-Pac 12. Alonso was not able to work at the NFL Combine. At the Ducks’ Pro Day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.74 seconds, but didn’t do the bench press. He had a visit with the Raiders during the past week.
Here are some highlights of Reddick and Alonso, courtesy of Youtube.com:
Both players, who are expected to be mid-round picks, should be selected during the second or third day of the Draft, which will host rounds two to seven (2nd and 3rd rounds on Friday, April 26th; Fourth to seventh rounds on Saturday). If the Silver & Black targets a inside linebacker with one of their picks, Reddick and Alonso will certainly be on their radar. The Oakland Raiders currently hold the following selections:
- Round 1: 3rd pick (#3 overall)
- Round 3: 4th pick (#66 overall)
- Round 4: 3rd pick (#100 overall)
- Round 6: 4th pick (#172 overall)
- Round 6: 8th pick (#176 overall)
- Round 6: 37th pick (#205 overall) *compensatory
- Round 7: 3rd pick (#209 overall)
The 2013 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 25th at 5 P.M. (PDT).