Every week we will be giving you the scoop on some top college football prospects to keep an eye every week as they could be great additions to the Oakland Raiders next season. These players would be great fits with the Raiders and have some interesting matchups this week.
Here’s the guys to watch this week, and who they will be squaring off against:
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami (FL) (vs. Georgia Tech)
Terrelle Pryor has been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders so far this season, but there are still major questions about whether or not he will develop into a quarterback who can beat you with his arm just as well as his legs. With the immense depth at the position in this year’s draft, the Raiders would be foolish not to seriously consider drafting one. If you’re looking for someone late in the first round or early to mid second round, Morris could be an excellent addition.
Morris has excellent arm strength and solid accuracy both in the pocket and on the move. In his one tough game so far he threw two TDs against a solid Florida defense and this week’s game against 3-1 Georgia Tech will test him again. Miami has dealt with a lot of off-field issues, but Morris has been a bright spot and has the ability to turn into an excellent starting QB with a little work, which he has no problem putting in.
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State (vs. Northwestern)
Shazier is undersized for a linebacker, and looks like he should be a safety, but in this age of mobile quarterbacks you need LBs who can make plays sideline to sideline and Shazier fits that bill.
Against Northwestern, Shazier will be tested by a QB combo of Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian meaning Shazier will have to be on his toes even more than usual. The Raiders linebacking core of Sio Moore, Kevin Burnett, and Nick Roach have been solid but unspectacular. Watching young LBs like Kiko Alonso and Sean Lee fly over the field, the Raiders need a playmaker like that at the second level and Shazier is capable of filling that role.
David Yankey, T/G, Stanford (vs. Washington)
Stanford has established itself as one of the most physical running teams in all of college football. Stanford has recently produced a couple of great offensive linemen in Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro, and Yankey could be the next in line to make an impact at the next level.
While Yankey plays tackle, he projects as an interior lineman in the NFL which is precisely where the Raiders O-Line needs help most. Yankey is excellent at pulling and seeking out LBs and DBs which I’m sure, Darren McFadden would appreciate. With Menelik Watson and a healthy Jared Veldheer entrenched at the tackle positions, the next step would be to shore up the interior of the line. When you have guys like Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork in the AFC, you need to have excellent interior linemen and Yankey could slide right in at either guard position. Watch him against a much improved Washington squad in primetime.