Player News - Raiders

Date: Team: Pos:

Raiders signed Ole Miss DL Fadol Brown.

Brown (6’4/273) spent three years at Ole Miss after transferring from Florida International, managing four sacks across 21 starts for the Rebels. Brown sporadically flashed promise as a defensive end-tackle hybrid, but struggled to produce and is already 24 years old. He measured in with long arms (35") at the Combine, but clocked a sluggish 4.94 forty. Brown looks like a low-floor, low-upside NFL prospect.
Apr 29 - 7:59 PM

Raiders signed Baylor WR Ishmael Zamora.

Zamora (6’4/224) was an impact receiver for only one season at Baylor, posting a 63-809-8 (12.8 YPR) receiving line in 2016 as the 1b to K.D. Cannon’s 1a, and the 1c to Corey Coleman’s 1a before that. Zamora was not invited to February’s Combine due to a past incident where he was videotaped beating his dog with a belt. On a less-disturbing note, Zamora showed plus athleticism at Baylor’s 2016 Pro Day with a 4.53 forty, 34-inch vertical, and 10-foot broad jump. Zamora is essentially all projection, minimal production, but he has NFL talent and therefore will be worth monitoring.
Apr 29 - 7:55 PM

Raiders signed Arkansas WR Keon Hatcher.

Hatcher (6’1/212) made 28 starts in five seasons as a Razorback, graduating with a career 130-1,866-19 (14.4 YPR) receiving line and going his entire senior year without a single drop. Hatcher’s sub-par athleticism was exposed at the Combine, running 4.64 and declining to participate in agility drills. A poor man’s Kamar Aiken, Hatcher will have to show special teams value to make any NFL noise. On offense, his game is best suited for a situational slot role.
Apr 29 - 7:08 PM

Raiders selected Toledo DT Treyvon Hester with the No. 244 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Hester (6’2/300) was a four-year starter on the Rockets’ defensive line, logging 31.5 career tackles for loss with 13 sacks and four forced fumbles. Ideally a three-technique interior rusher, Hester showed pass-rush ability via bull-rush force in the MAC, but wasn’t a truly explosive player on tape and isn’t big enough to dominate versus the run. He only earned second-team all-conference from the MAC coaches as a senior, then underwent shoulder surgery and didn’t work out before the draft. Also abnormally old for a rookie, Hester turns 25 in September. A run-of-the-mill, smaller-school defensive tackle, Hester’s ceiling is limited and his floor is basement low.
Apr 29 - 6:25 PM

Raiders selected North Carolina RB Elijah Hood with the No. 242 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Hood (6’0/232) turned pro as a junior after starting for two years in Chapel Hill, logging a career 430-2,580-29 (6.0 YPC) rushing line with 40 receptions. He ran 4.63/4.64 at the Tar Heels’ Pro Day and is a below-par overall athlete. A straight-line grinder back who lacks elusiveness and long speed, Hood’s NFL ceiling is likely as a short-yardage specialist or late-game clock killer.
Apr 29 - 6:19 PM

Raiders selected Alabama State OT Jylan Ware with the No. 231 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Ware (6’8/317) was a three-year starter at the D-IAA level whose stock took off at the Alabama State Pro Day, where he ran a freakish 4.99 forty. He came onto the radar of Rotoworld draft analyst Josh Norris, who ranked Ware as one of this year’s top-140 prospects before the draft. While obviously a major project, Ware’s size and movement skills make him an intriguing developmental ball of clay in an offensive line-starved league.
Apr 29 - 6:00 PM

Raiders selected Washington State S Shalom Luani with the No. 221 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Luani (5'11/202) piled up eight career interceptions at Wazzou, but he was charged with over 30 missed tackles the past two seasons and showed sub-par athleticism before the draft with a 4.55 forty and 31-inch vertical. Luani would do well to carve out a Shiloh Keo-like career as a special teamer and reserve safety.
Apr 29 - 5:38 PM

Raiders selected Wake Forest LB Marquel Lee with the No. 168 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Lee (6’3/240) was a three-year starter and four-year contributor for the Demon Deacons, tallying 42 career tackles for loss with 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Lee was exposed as a below-average athlete at Wake Forest’s Pro Day, running 4.78 with a sluggish 7.28 three-cone time. A productive college player whose skills are questionable to translate, Lee best projects as early-career special teams help with an outside chance to become a capable spot starter on defense.
Apr 29 - 3:06 PM

Raiders selected Florida OT David Sharpe with the No. 129 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Sharpe (6’6/343) turned pro as a true junior after manning blind-side tackle his final two seasons at UF, logging 26 starts but failing to earn All-SEC recognition. Sharpe is a monster getting off the bus with telephone poles for arms (35 3/8"). He tested as a putrid fourth-percentile athlete before the draft, however, and shows worrisome stiffness on tape, frequently falling victim to speed rushers. Likely a multi-year project, Sharpe’s shortage of movement skills will certainly move him off left tackle and either to the right side or guard. Ultimately, we’d consider him a long shot to develop into a starter.
Apr 29 - 1:17 PM

Raiders selected UCLA DT Eddie Vanderdoes with the No. 88 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Vanderdoes (6’3/305) arrived at UCLA as the nation’s No. 1 defensive line recruit, yet battled repeated knee, foot, and weight problems, managing 12.5 career tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Vanderdoes ballooned north of 350 pounds at times before dropping weight during the pre-draft phase. Nonetheless physically gifted, Vanderdoes tested as a top-four athlete among defensive linemen at February’s Combine. While Vanderdoes has always been long on potential, he hasn’t realized it since high school. He could become a plus starter or fall out of the league before his rookie contract is up.
Apr 28 - 10:46 PM

Raiders selected UConn DB Obi Melifonwu with the No. 56 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Melifonwu (6’4/224) started a whopping 47 games at UConn, compiling 11 career tackles for loss with eight interceptions and two forced fumbles. Like fellow ex-Huskies SS Byron Jones, Obi completely murdered the Combine with a 4.4-flat forty and off-the-charts vertical (44") and broad (11’9") jumps. While Obi obviously checks boxes for size and athleticism, PFF College charted him with 12 touchdown passes allowed over his final three years, and NFL scouts reportedly question Melifonwu’s on-field toughness. Ideally, he would become a combination safety in the mold of Bengals FS George Iloka. Melifonwu will likely back up aging Reggie Nelson at free safety initially, then take over as a starter opposite Karl Joseph in 2018.
Apr 28 - 9:01 PM

Raiders selected Ohio State CB Gareon Conley with the No. 24 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.

Clearly a first-round talent, Conley was expected to slip into at least Day 2 because of rape allegations which surfaced early this week. Conley has not been charged with a crime, however, and reportedly passed a polygraph test on Thursday, for whatever that is worth. No matter why or how, the Raiders are clearly comfortable with the situation. On the field, Conley (6’0/195) started 26 games at Ohio State, tallying 19 pass breakups and six interceptions, and earning second-team All-Big Ten from the conference’s coaches as a junior. PFF College charged Conley with a nation-low 14.0 passer rating allowed in 2016. Plus sized with long arms (33"), 4.44 speed, and dynamic ball skills, Conley profiles as a playmaking man-cover corner.
Apr 27 - 10:55 PM

Ohio State CB Gareon Conley will submit a DNA sample during his Monday meeting with police.

Conley has steadfastly maintained his innocence, and says he has evidence that will prove it. There have been reports Conley could still go in the first round on Thursday, but a slide still seems more likely. His situation is too uncertain.
Apr 27 - 4:51 PM

USA Today's Tom Pelissero cautions "not to overlook" the possibility of the Cowboys stopping Ohio State CB Gareon Conley's slide.

Conley visited Dallas during the pre-draft process, and fielded a call from the team Wednesday. As Pelissero points out, the Cowboys are no strangers to risk tasking, and need a cornerback. Conley's situation is similar to La'El Collins', whom the Cowboys signed after he went undrafted in 2015. CBS' Jason La Canfora reported earlier Thursday that Conley could still go in the first round.
Apr 27 - 3:41 PM

CBS' Jason La Canfora believes Ohio State CB Gareon Conley could still come off the board in the first round.

La Canfora came to his conclusion after "the more phone calls I make and more teams I talk to." Conley has called the rape accusation against him "untrue, wrongful and malicious." Perhaps teams believe him after talking to him and examining the publicly-available evidence. Conley isn't set to talk with police until Monday. It's still an extremely volatile situation. A long slide remains a distinct possibility.
Apr 27 - 12:56 PM


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