2015 NFL Draft: Does Reggie McKenzie Have a ‘Type’?

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Looking at Reggie McKenzie’s three draft classes, is it possible to identify if he has a ‘type’? Or are there any trends that stand out that can help paint a picture for what the 2015 class might look like?

Well, let’s find out.

Taking a closer look at the profile of the players he has selected, there is definitely a tendency to draft top-notch athletes. At least in 2014, that definitely was the case.

SPARQ is a metric developed by Nike that rates a player’s overall athleticism, and has been fine tuned by Zach Whitman, who runs 3sigmaathlete.com. Whitman’s rating is called pSPARQ.

Simply put, the formula takes a prospects athletic test numbers (40-yard dash, shuttle run, bench press, etc.) and generates a single score. The higher the score, the better the athlete.

Looking at the pSPARQ rankings for the 2014 class, a few things stand out.

Khalil Mack has the top-rated pSPARQ score at his position, and one of the best in the entire class. Keith McGill ranks 9th at his position, and TJ Carrie is just behind him at #12. Gabe Jackson is ranked #12 at his position and Justin Ellis is ranked 5th.

Considering each position has over 100 players ranked, and some of them have even more than that, this is definitely something worth taking note of.

Whitman’s pSPARQ rankings for the 2015 draft class can be found here.

This is where it gets interesting.

Cross-referencing players that tested towards the top of their position and that also have met with the Raiders, 13 names popped up. The number next to their name is where they rank at their position.

Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson (#3)
Vic Beasley, Edge, Clemson (#2)
Bryan Bennett, QB, Southeastern Louisiana (#10)
DeAndre Carter, WR, Sacramento State (#4)
Randy Gregory, Edge, Nebraska (#7)
David Irving, DT, Iowa State (#3)
Akeem King, S, San Jose State (#18)
Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF (#5)
Eric Rowe, CB, Utah (#3)
Marcus Rush, Edge, Michigan State (#14)
Josh Shaw, CB, USC (#5)
Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State (#14)
Cedric Thompson, S, Minnesota (#3)

13 players is definitely more than I expected to find. And with so much draft talk either being kept on the hush, or purposefully put out there as a smokescreen, this is a solid indication of which type of players the Raiders might be targeting.

Leonard Williams or Amari Cooper are the likely picks at 4th overall, but Beasley is the only player of the three who came in for a workout, so I wouldn’t rule him out just yet.

Gregory is a strong option if the Raiders trade down.

Anthony and Rowe are realistic options in the second round. Both players may fit both the ‘best available” strategy, and they both fill a need. The same could also be said for Donovan Smith and Breshad Perriman, but I wouldn’t say they are as likely options as Anthony and Rowe.

Shaw is an option in the third round, and the rest of the players are projected to go in the 4th round or later. DeAndre Carter or David Irving could be possible 6th or 7th round picks.

And just to fine-tune things a bit more, let’s go back to McKenzie’s selections over the years.

Next: Reggie McKenzie's Draft History