Oakland Raiders Should Pursue CFL Tackles Leader Solomon Elimimian

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Like most American born CFL stars, Elimimian initially saw success as a college prospect at a mid-major program, finishing a career in the NCAA with the University of Hawaii where the Crenshaw born linebacker was the Rainbow Warriors career leader in tackles with 434.

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  • Despite a senior year where Elimimian registered 121 tackles and four sacks playing on a team in Hawaii that went 12-1 during Elimimian’s Junior season before playing in the Sugar Bowl, the undersized linebacker was bypassed in the NFL Draft before being signed by the Buffalo Bills.

    Going to Buffalo as an undrafted free agent, Elimimian wasn’t given much of a look by the Bills during the preseason. Getting to play in just two preseason games before the 2008 WAC Defensive Player of the Year was cut, Elimimian eventually made his way to the CFL the following year in 2010 where he once again showed the promise that he displayed when he set the career record for WAC solo tackles with 243 as a four year starter in Hawaii.

    In his rookie season with the Lions, Elimimian had little time spent transitioning to the larger field and the extra man in the Canadian game, winning the 2010 Most Outstanding Rookie award in Vancouver. Elimimian finished with 77 tackles during his first year up North, adding his usual number of sacks with five and adding 11 special teams tackles as a breakout rookie with the West Division team.

    2011 saw Elimimian upping his tackles total with 98 during his second season, registering four sacks and adding two interceptions to his resume while he improved in the coverage game in the wider CFL field with more passing downs than in the American game. Elimimian also won a Grey Cup in his second season with the Lions, playing a big role in the championship that come on home turf at BC Place against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

    After two years in the CFL, Elimimian made it clear that he still had potential to crack a roster in the NFL. Which led him back to the second stage of his professional career after winning the Grey Cup when he parlayed his two seasons and Canadian stardom into a two year contract with the Minnesota Vikings that was signed for the 2012 season.

    Next: Elimimian Breakdown: Overlooked in Minny