We still don’t know for sure what type of defense Dennis Allen is going to be running in Oakland. Early word is that it’s looking like the old trusty 4-3. Of course the book on Allen is that he likes to mix things up so it won’t be too shocking to see some 3-4 elements incorporated into the Raiders scheme.
Naturally to run the 3-4 you need the proper personnel. It’s not like you can just plug in a system and expect the talent to fit. In that case the Raiders will need a proper nose tackle. A big, nasty space eater that can clog the lanes, move the pile and draw double teams.
Alabama big man Josh Chapman is already on Reggie McKenzie’s radar so clearly there is at least an interest in exploring nose tackle options in the draft. Outside of Chapman the next best nose tackle that has a chance of falling to Oakland at #95 is Washington’s Alameda Ta’amu.
Our friends over at NFL Mocks gave Ta’amu a 2nd round grade and compare him to former Charger and one-time Bronco Jamal Williams so his stock is high. In order for the Raiders to get to Ta’amu they’ll have to catch a few breaks and hope he slides. Most estimate that he’ll be off the board before the 4th round for sure. Here is a quick breakdown.
Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington
Strengths: Built to play nose tackle in the NFL. Has good feet and moves well for his size. Gets a good push at point of contact and can dominate in one-on-one situations. Draws double teams often allowing linebackers to roam free behind him. A real asset against the run who can get occasional pressure on the passer.
Weaknesses: No significant go-to moves, relies almost exclusively on strength to beat blockers. Played outside occasionally in college but won’t hold much value in an NFL 4-3. Not a playmaker, strictly a space-eater. Won’t make many plays in pursuit.