Comparing Oakland Raiders Linebackers to past greats

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Jun 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) stretches at minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Smith – USC

#53 – Ht. 6-0 – Wt. 225

Smith is a former Seahawk and Superbowl MVP. Brother of former NY Giants WR Steve Smith, Malcolm has the speed and athleticism to make plays all over the field. Smith recorded a 4.46 40-yd dash, 39 inch vertical and 28 reps on the Bench Press during his pro day leading up to the 2011 draft. #53 has all the tools, his speed is apparent when watching him play, however, his tackling is something that leaves a little to be desired. While he can tackle, his technique definitely needs polishing. The Norton Jr. scheme is something he is very familiar with since its what he played in college as well as in Seattle. If he can harness his speed and use his physical traits, he can play like former Raider LB, Bill Romanowski.

“Romo” was an intimidator, the tough guy willing to play past the whistle to set the tone. When Mack moves to the DE position on passing downs, expect Smith to be one of the first players off the bench and with his speed, there should be only a small drop-off in effectiveness if he can play a bit stronger. Smith’s main competition will be former St. Louis Rams player, Ray-Ray Armstrong, but he can totally win that battle so long as he remains fundamentally sound and correctly plays within the system. I can’t see him becoming a real difference maker but if he takes care of his assignments and tackles better, he could surprise.

Next: Raiders Comparisons: Ray-Ray Armstrong