With free agency slowing to a crawl all NFL eyes are shifting towards the draft. This week Reggie McKenzie got an early Christmas present as the league gifted three compensatory picks to the Oakland Raiders. Though the Raiders won’t be on the clock until the 95th pick in the draft there is always talent to be found.
At the moment McKenzie has stated outside linebacker as an area of top priority for the silver and black. Problem is the Raiders won’t be in mix for one of the top OLB prospects as their first pick isn’t until round 3.
That’s why we’re breaking down Arkansas State linebacker Demario Davis today.
Before the evaluation process began the good folks over at NFL Mocks had Davis ranked 24th among all outside linebacker prospects for the 2012 draft. After a nice showing at the combine and an impressive pro day, Davis has seen his stock rise. NFL Draft Scout has Davis ranked 91st overall which would put him right in Oakland’s wheelhouse. He’s going to be a mid-round pick, valued anywhere between the 3rd and 5th round depending. Here are the details.
Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State
Strengths: A freakish athlete. Davis ran an impressive 4.56 40-yard dash at ASU’s prod day and registered a ridiculous 38” vertical. At the combine he showed good strength putting up 32 reps on bench press. He’s the type that would be all over the Al Davis radar in years past. Demario also played some wide receiver in high school. He’s got ideal size for an NFL linebacker and if nothing else will be a solid special teams contributor. Solid against the run and shows explosive straight line speed that many see as a good fit to play outside in a 4-3 scheme.
Weaknesses: His speed can get him into trouble as he can get caught out of position while pursing. Not very fluid in the open field and will be picked on in the passing game. Despite having great speed Davis wasn’t much of a pass rusher, only 7 sacks in his four years. Doesn’t shed blocks well and can get swallowed up in the middle of the field where his speed isn’t as important as strength.