The Raiders might not be exclusively playing a 3-4 next season but they’re certainly going to be utilizing the scheme often enough. At least that’s how it would appear when you look at most of the defensive draft prospects the silver and black are said to be expressing interest in.
Many of the visits the Raiders have conducted have been with DE/OLB hybrid types that ideally fit into a 3-4 scheme.
Houston linebacker Sammy Brown is one of those prospects currently on Oakland’s radar. The Mississippi native took the JUCO route to Division I football and has shown real growth in his two years at Houston. Brown is your prototypical outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. He’s also likely to be a late round selection which is right in line for what the Raiders have to work with in the draft. Here is a quick analysis.
Sammy Brown, OLB, Houston
Strengths: Excellent pass rusher with good speed off the edge. Registered 13 sacks for the Cougars last season. Good football instincts. Makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. All kinds of potential which means he could blossom as a pro.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t always play with a high motor. Can get swallowed up by bigger lineman so how he transitions to facing NFL talent is a real concern. Has a nose for the ball but has room to improve in run support.