Oakland Raiders Free Agent Acquisitions By the Numbers

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Dec 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Smith – Linebacker:

When it comes to Malcolm Smith, I’m a bit of a fan. I’ve lived in Seattle for the last 9 years, its hard not to get caught up in all the excitement. (Don’t worry, I attend every meeting between the Raiders and Hawks at Century Link field sporting my original Woodson jersey) Living here, and being surrounded by people who are as obsessed with the Hawks as I am with the Raiders I’ve gotten quite a bit of insight on the defending NFC champs.

One little tidbit is that Malcolm Smith wasn’t playing healthy last season. Smith had a tremendous drop in production from 2013 to 2014. In 2013, Smith was the number six rated overall Outside Linebacker in a 4-3 defense. His productivity showed up week in and week out.  2014 saw a change for Smith, dropping to 36th overall in the same category. On top of being injured, the play of KJ Wright, and Bruce Irvin left Smith a little behind on the depth chart as well.

On the Raiders side, Sio Moore also had a dramatic drop in ranking from 2013 to 2014. He went from being one spot behind Smith at number seven, to a few spots ahead of him at 32 in 2014. Moore’s drop could have been caused by any number of challenges he faced last year, from questionable defensive play calling, to his old parter Nick Roach being out in the middle. If Smith and Moore are able to return to their 2013 form, the Raiders will have one dominant Linebacking Corp.

I don’t believe Smith was brought in to be a Will linebacker to replace Moore though. I think he was brought in to add quality depth, and with the ability to play inside as well, Smith brings versatility to the linebacking corp.

Here’s a look at Malcolm Smith, by the numbers; 2013 v 2014

Smith 2013

  • Overall Rank: 6th
  • Overall Grade: +10.9
  • Pass Rush: +.9 (11th overall)
  • Coverage: +2.8 (12th overall)
  • Run Stopping: +6.5 (10th overall)
  • Tackling Efficiency: 13.8 (4th overall)

Smith 2014

  • Overall Rank: 36th
  • Overall Grade: -9
  • Pass Rush: -.1 (21st overall)
  • Coverage: -5.6 (32nd overall)
  • Run Stopping: -3.7 (36th overall)
  • Tackling Efficiency: (n/a)

So there is an obvious drop in production, but I do feel Smith will rebound nicely in Oakland. Being completely healthy, and having his old position coach from Seattle, Ken Norton Jr. as the Defensive Coordinator, he should be able to be put into positions where he can succeed.

Next: FA By the Numbers: Curtis Lofton