Oakland Raiders 2014 Draft Class: Film Room
Dec. 26, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Central Michigan Chippewas wide receiver Cody Wilson (11) makes catch while being tackled by Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defensive back Jonathan Dowling (1) in the second quarter of the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Round of Redemption…
Round 7: TJ Carrie, CB Ohio
This was the first of three choices in this round that were fairly shocking. In fact, two of these players I had no knowledge of which is why this article is coming out late. I took some time to research the players I did not know and each guy in this round found themselves in trouble at some point and have worked hard to clean up their lives. Carrie has suffered injuries which has made his talent come over looked but he is another bigger and more physical cornerback that can play the slot and be a quality returner. I would not be surprised if Carrie wins the role as punt and kick returner this year allowing other special teams players to have specific roles.
Round 7: Shelby Harris, DE Illinois State
If you have not heard Shelby’s story it is quite intriguing. He was a massive disrupter at Illinois State and made a career for three years as a lean and quick three technique. He was on the Missouri Valley Football Conference 2010 Newcomer team, recorded two sacks and six tackles in 2011 against then no. 16 Indiana State while recording 49 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks in nine appearances with six as starts. In 2012 he was a first team All-MVFC selection, started all 13 games at defensive tackle, ranked third on the team and fifth in the MVFC with 16 tackles for loss, ranked third on the team with seven sack with 85 tackles, six quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, three pass breakups and an interception. In short he was a flat out menace. He is only 6’2, recently weighed in around 270 pounds, but has very long arms which were 34 5/8 inches. It is hard to pin down why he was dismissed from the team following the 2012 season, but what he did after that is what is interesting.
Harris was originally committed to Wisconsin, but was dismissed from that school and now he found himself without football. He decided to change his life and be a new man. Part of that was a religious change, but he also got a job waiting tables at a local Italian restaurant while training at a sports facility in the area to get conditioned and refine his technique. Shelby was a flat out menace at defensive tackle, but now he seems to me to be a young Justin Tuck type player. I love his upside and he has some exciting tape which includes a wicked first step.
Round 7: Jonathan Dowling, S WKU
This is another very talented player that had some character issues coming into this draft, but similar to Shelby, Dowling has got passed his demons and is looking for redemption in the NFL. Going into his senior year Dowling was a four star prospect with offers from every NCAA powerhouse you can imagine but he choose Florida. Shortly after his addition to the team he found himself at odds with Urban Meyer and due to this he transferred at the end of the season. The issues that lead to this were both on field and off, but after sitting a year due to transfer rules, Dowling went on to start every game for two years at WKU forcing 18 turnovers in two seasons. He is a long, rangy, and lean free safety, but he packs an immense punch and has a nose for the ball. He is the future free safety for the Raiders and he is excited to learn behind Charles Woodson as he said in his conference call. Dowling can play man and traditional deep zone as a free safety, has experience on special teams, is 6’3 weighing in at 190 pounds with 33.25 inch arm length. The biggest knock on Dowling: he loves to hit not tackle.