Evaluating the Satele trade


Samson Satele

Now that Samson Satele is searching for a home in the East Bay, it is time to take a look at what has been gained and lost in the trade that brought the Hawaiian center from South Beach to the Yay Area.

To begin, let’s examine the details of the trade.

The Raiders traded a sixth round pick and swapped picks in the fourth round with the Miami Dolphins for Satele. The Draft Value Chart reveals that the Raiders took a significant hit in swapping picks in the fourth round with Miami. The Raiders were to select 8th in round 4 which carries a value of 86, whereas the newly acquired pick from Miami, which is currently 26th in round 4, is valued at 50.

Of course, these values are relative to their position overall in the draft and could shift up or down in accordance with the addition of supplemental picks or the removal of picks from other franchises.

The loss of Oakland’s sixth round pick carries a value of 25. Not much lost there, however, the Raiders’ 5th round pick belongs to the Atlanta Falcons due to the DeAngelo Hall acquisition, meaning the Raider draft is now limited to picks in rounds 1-4 and 7.

While the value chart is utilized by teams for trade evaluation, it means little in regards to a team’s ability to evaluate talent and unearth gems in the later rounds.

The Raiders had a definite need at center and would have turned to the draft had this trade not transpired.

alex20mackAlex Mack of Cal Berkeley and Max Unger of Oregon are considered the top two prospects at center. Mack is expected to be a late first round selection, meaning Unger could be an early second round choice.

However you slice it, the Raiders would have been gambling on either Mack or Unger being available in round two for them since using the #7 overall to select a center was out of the question.

Therefore, losing the 6th round pick and moving down in the 4th would seem a logical trade off in acquiring a center that was originally a second round pick in 2007 and has started in every game of his two year career.

As far as trade value goes, the Raiders did well for themselves in opening their second round options for the purpose of filling immediate needs such as wide receiver, safety and defensive line, all depending on what they do in round one.

Next, the question must be asked, how does Satele fit into the system?

By all indications, Samson is a perfect fit for the zone blocking scheme which values agility and athleticism over size and strength for the offensive line.

Satele is listed as 6-3, 300 lbs, but it is believed that his playing weight is closer to 295. Samson is a pure athlete who ran an impressive 5.24 in 40 yard dash, did 25 reps on bench press and recorded a 33″ vertical at the NFL Draft Combine in 2007.

In addition, the former Hawaii Warrior played both guard positions and left tackle in college and has seen some time at guard in the NFL. He adds versatility and depth to the line, which is always a plus as injuries mount throughout the rigorous NFL schedule.

Another plus is that Satele played in a Miami offense that ran plays out of the “Wildcat formation” which is sure to be included in the Raider playbook in 2009. Having a center with a familiarity to these sets is a big advantage in helping to integrate a new player at such a key position. 

All things being considered, he is ideal for the Raider philosophy and Samson will only continue to grow under the tutelage of Jim Michalczik.

Finally, let’s take a look at why the Miami Dolphins were willing to part with the young center.

It would seem almost too good to be true that the Dolphins would deal a young talent who anchored a line that helped the Miami franchise to the greatest turnaround in NFL history.

Of course, the obvious reason is that the Dolphins had committed nearly $30 million to former Raider center Jake Grove.

The popular belief is that Dolphin Executive VP of Football Operations, Bill Parcells, desired a stronger center to deal with the nose tackles of the AFC East. Thus, Satele became expendable.

Simply put, Samson did not fit the Dolphin scheme. One man’s loss is another’s gain. Satele is a perfect fit for the Raiders and looks to be a fixture for years to come.

Overall, this is a shrewd personnel move by the Raider brass and grades out very well.

One last issue of note is that Satele is rehabbing a shoulder after having had surgery to repair a torn labSatelerum muscle. While the status of his shoulder may give Raider fans pause, the silver lining in this gray cloud is that he played through the regular and post season with the injury.

Bottom line is that Samson Satele is tough guy who is a great acquisition for Tom Cable’s Raiders.

Welcome to the Nation Samson!

Tags: Alex Mack Bill Parcells Deangelo Hall Jake Grove Jim Michalczik Max Unger Samson Satele Tom Cable

  • Howie

    The last six years of 11 plus losses can be attributed to the bad to mediocre “O” line of the Raiders.

    The recent signings if treated as a means to add competition and not a fix would be healthy. I am encouraged that Al the players pal, signed Barnes to a one year contract considering what he brings. Barnes was sent packing from the Jaquars and no one wanted him. He gave up 7 1/2 sacks and committed 11 penalties. Some people say this is due in part that he got no help but lets face it either you got it or you don’t. He brings a lot of baggage and even accused the cops that arrested him for his DUI as being racist. Now that owns up to your mistakes.

    I am very encouraged with Henderson but he is still an unproven product as of yet. Three decent games at the end of the season do not make him a proven starter. I went back and watched the replays and he handled himself well at times but he had a lot of help and most of the times the running game and passing game relied on the right side of the “O” line away from Henderson. JR bootleg a lot away from Henderson’s left side. Gallery is fine but the all important center position is still a gaping whole as Satele is a step down from Grove plus he is coming off a shoulder injury and cannot handle the bigger NTs. If Bill Parcells did not want him then it has to make you wonder. The ZBS can be an excuse for bringing in mediocre talent just like Khwame “Turnstile” Harris.

    Carlisle is long in the tooth and gets planted by the bigger NTs. Green is a good run blocker but one sorry azz pass blocker, plus he is now facing a possible 4 game suspension with his recent arrest. Erik Pears is coming off a season out of football due to a serious operation and is simply an unknown. I like McQuistan but he could not break the starting lineup.

    The fact is an “O” line has to work together and takes a lot of time to jell together so that they developed a rhythm that sets the tone for the run and passing game.

    So why not draft the absolute best “O” line this year, give it the kind of talent it needs for competition and discard the losers if they do not want to be backups. This way ensures JR’s protection and simply elevates the game of the entire team, including the defense.

    Draft Andre Smith and trade up to get Mack at center and now the everyone is a winner. Draft defense next year with the high picks.

  • Howie

    Once again the ZBS seems to be everyone’s panacea for mediocre linemen but the truth is the ZBS does not work when the big nasty NTs of the NFL can quickly penetrate and disrupt the flow of the ZBS. Also there are many time when there is not room for the movement of the “O” line except straight ahead, such as the goal line situations. Smaller centers like Satele are no good when they can get pushed around. This exactly what happened in Miami and why Parcel’s sent Satele packing. Satele will make a nice guard but the Raiders need Andre Smith and Mack at center.

  • erik

    Howie I agree with you whole heatedly, if we do not finally address our biggest issues (the O’Line) by drafting a OT and Center in this years draft then we only are placing bandaids to the same open wounds that have plagued us for almost a decade. With the additions of LT A.Smith & Center A.Mack we can finally turn the page on this issue and use the remaining two picks for DT and Safety. I don’t see us drafting a WR with our 1st 4 picks. We need to evaluate our talent at QB & WR and the only way to do this is to keep JR of his arss. What is more important is to now focus on stopping the run which is our second biggest problem now that we have finally addressed the O’line. I believe the one position that can immediately elevate the entire defense is the DT position. The position that is currently wasted by Sands. If we can get a guy that not only looks the part (Sands) but plays the part even if it takes two draft picks to ensure we address this area of need then no matter what else occurs in this years draft it was a success. We also need to learn from Miami and Phili, how they stock pile picks for the draft and address the importance of their linemen.

  • H

    YA! That whole zone blocking scheme never seemed to work in Denver when they won the Super Bowl. I mean, St. Louis when they won a Super Bowl. I mean, oh wait, I mean that it has produced Super Bowl winners. I am amazed that people can type straight when stating that Grove is better than Satele. Grove, often injured, hasn’t had a full starting season since when, ever? Living in Miami and bleeding Silver and Black I can testify that Satele, a 32 game starter, is worth a 6th round pick and 4th round swap. This isn’t Madden people. Not ever pick in the lower rounds is successful. The statistical average for finding a player of value is 1 in 16 in lower rounds. Don’t believe me? Open up excel go back through the NFL draft since lets say 1989 (20 years ago) and pull out the number of players out of each round that had successful (5 seasons) of quality starting time. Satele is younger, faster, and much more durable than Grove and is a welcomed addition to the Bay. With the additions of Pears and Barnes to Henderson and McQuiston, provides us with some young talent with a lot to prove. Consistency is one of the biggest factors to perfecting a blocking scheme. That’s what the team needs more than anything right now. Consistency!

  • jake

    We have watched this act about the offensive line to long. Who have they brought in that will improve the line (Barnes, please) and they may get one player from the draft “that may” help the line. I am still skiptical. I know fans don’t want to hear it but I been there and seen it for to many years. They talk about building the team through the draft and now we have three draft picks. Isn’t that just great?

  • Sonny

    Great article and I agree, it was a great pick up. He is much younger and has started all 32 games over his first 2 years. Plus he has only given up 6 Sacks during those 2 years compared to Groves 7.5 Sacks in the only year he was able to start all 16 games. They are both around the same size but Satele I beleive will do better in the ZBS then Grove. Plus the kid has gone up against some of the best 3-4 d’s in the NFL game after game. Great pick up by the Raiders.