Heading into the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders had seven selections to work with. But thanks to three trade downs performed by general manager Reggie McKenzie and his crew, this year’s draft class brings ten new players to the Silver & Black. Seven of those were selected during the third day of the process, which held rounds four to seven: six to the offense and four to the defense. After meeting cornerback D.J. Hayden from Day One, as well as offensive tackle Menelik Watson and linebacker Sio Moore from Day Two, let’s take a closer look at the athletes selected by the Raiders on Day Three.
QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas – 4th Round, #112 overall: The Raiders started the day by adding another talented signal-caller to the mix in Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson. At 6’2, 215 pounds, Wilson is regarded as a classic gunslinger, with supreme toughness and leadership skills on and off the field. Averaged 3,512.5 yards, 62.6 % completion, 22.5 TDs and 9.5 INTs per season over his two years as a starter for the Razorbacks. Had his best season as a junior (3,638 yards, 63.2%, 24 TDs and 6 INTs), being selected as a first-team All-SEC. Coming back for his senior year, Wilson had to deal with the loss of his head coach, offensive coordinator and the top three wide receivers in Arkansas’ roster. Despite suffering huge pressure and taking hits all season long, Wilson still managed to complete 62.1% of his pass attempts for 3,387 yards, 21 TDs and 13 INTs. A member of the South Squad in the 2013 Senior Bowl, where the Raiders’ coaching staff, who was working with the North Team, could take a closer look at his skills and work ethic. Attempted 11 passes at that game, with eight completions for 40 yards. As written by Draftcountdown’s scout Scott Wright, Wilson is a “classic gunslinger with a live arm, Wilson doesn’t always do things by the book but he is a gamer who finds a way to get the job done and seems to play his best when it counts.” Possesses good accuracy and pocket awareness in short to intermediate routes, being able to drive his team down the field and perform at clutch situations. Will wait until the last moment to make the throw if needed, not being afraid to take a hit right after making a pass. Struggles with the long passes, where he needs to work on his ball velocity and accuracy. Measured with the smallest hands in the 2013 QB class (eight and a half) which, along with his tendency to hold the ball lower than desired when looking downfield, could lead to fumbling issues in the NFL. Missed a few games with a concussion. Good footwork and decent quickness and speed that enables him to buy extra time in the pocket and occasionally gain yards with his feet. At the Combine, ran the 40 yard dash in 4.95 seconds. Good intangibles and football IQ to go along with top-notch toughness which earned him comparisons to Brett Favre. Called the “forgotten man” by ESPN’s draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. due to the obstacules he had to face as a senior. Wilson will be 24-years-old on August.
TE Nick Kasa, Colorado – 6th Round, #172 overall: At 6’6, 269 pounds, Kasa is a former defensive end who was converted to the tight end position in 2011. Started all 12 games as a TE in 2012, recording 25 catches for 391 yards and 3 TDs. At the Combine, Kasa was third among TEs, tied with top prospect Tyler Eifert, in the bench press with 22 reps, also running the 40 yard dash in 4.71 seconds. Worked with the Raiders’ coaching staff during the Senior Bowl as a member of the North Squad. An athletic TE with good speed who’s a willing blocker and understands assignments as a former defensive end. Still a work in progress as a pass catcher and is unexperienced as a tight end but possesses intriguing potential and high upside.
RB Latavius Murray, Central Florida – 6th Round, #181 overall: At 6’2, 223 pounds, Murray is a power back with great athleticism for his size. At the Knights’ Pro Day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and performed 22 reps at the bench press. In 2012, his first season as a full-time starter, Murray ran for 1,106 yards (5.6 YPC) and 15 TDs, being named to the All-C-USA First Team. Did not lose a fumble in his final 407 carries of his career. Possesses breakaway speed and is comfortable running inside the tackles. Able to break tackles and make the big play. Needs to work on his footwork and change-of-direction ability at the line of scrimmage. Also needs to know how to use his big frame in a more physical way to take advantage of it. Has a tendency of running too high. Can contribute as a pass-catcher, with 27 receptions for 231 yards and 4 TDs as a senior. Athletic, powerful runner who can make an impact at the higher level if well-coached in the NFL.
TE Mychal Rivera, Tennessee – 6th Round, #184 overall: The 6’3, 242 Rivera is a three-year starter for the Vols. In 2012, he had his best season in his collegiate career, recording 36 receptions for 562 yards and 5 TDs, being elected to the All-SEC Second Team and setting a school all-time record for a TE in terms of receiving yards. Regarded as tough, athletic pass-catching TE who ran the 40 yard dash in 4.81 seconds and did 17 reps at the bench press in the Combine. Needs to add a little more bulk, strenght and technique in order to be an every-down TE and an effective blocker, instead of being reduced to passing situations. Possesses sure hands, nice body control and good vertical speed. Able to make the big play. Needs to work on his agility, change-of-direction skill and ability to gain yards after the catch. Major experience at the highest level of college football. Participated at the Senior Bowl as a member of the South Squad
DT Stacy McGee, Oklahoma – 6th Round, #205 overall: At 6’3, 308 pounds, McGee was reduced to six games in 2012 after being suspended for “violation of university policy”, recording 14 tackles (2.5 for loss) and a sack over that span. He’s an athletic three-technique defensive tackle who had off-field issues throughout his career for the Sooners. Arrested for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in 2011 and for DUI before Oklahoma’s 2013 bowl game. Possesses good quickness and is capable of penetrating into the opposing team’s backfield, but needs to work on his technique and also the consistency of his game. McGee was never able to secure a spot as a full-time starter but contributed for the Sooners with 63 tackles (9.5 for loss) and 2.5 sacks between 2010 and 2012. Also able to play as a defensive end in a 3-4 front.
WR Brice Butler, San Diego State – 7th Round, #209 overall: A speedster at 6’3, 214 pounds with good physical skills who recorded 24 receptions for 347 yards and 4 TDs in 2012, his best season and first as a member of the Spartans, after transfering from USC. Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds and had a 39-inch vertical on his Pro Day. Able to make the difficult catch but needs to work on his route-running and release off the line of scrimmage.
DE David Bass, Missouri Western State – 7th Round, #233 overall: The 6’4, 262 pounds Bass was a four-year starter for MWSU, owning the schooll all-time records for consecutive starts (50) and career sacks (39.5). One of the most dominant players in Division II football, which earned him an invite to the Combine. There, Bass was fourth among defensive ends in the 20-yard shuttle (4.33 secs). He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds and did 20 reps at the bench press. At his Pro Day, Bass improved his 40 yard dash time by running it on 4.69 seconds. Also invited to the East-West Shrine Game, where he performed well. An extremely productive pass-rusher who dominated the Division II competition. As a senior, Bass recorded 61 tackles (16 for loss) and 11.5 sacks. Racked up 210 (57 for loss) and 39.5 sacks over his four-year career with the Griffons. A tough, aggressive player who never lacks energy on the field. Needs to work on his hand-technique and will have a huge leap in terms of competition.
Here are some highlights of the aforementioned players, courtesy of Youtube.com:
QB Tyler Wilson
TE Nick Kasa
RB Latavius Murray
TE Mychal Rivera
DT Stacy McGee (from 1:13 to 1:48 – #92)
WR Brice Butler
DE David Bass