Round 6, Pick #194: Willie Henry, DT, Michigan
The Raiders might have one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL, especially once Aldon Smith’s suspension is up, but one key role is lacking: a three-tech defensive tackle. While the Raiders did a lot of rotations and used Justin Ellis and Dan Williams as dual man-mountains inside last season, for Ken Norton’s scheme to really work they’ll need a more nimble, athletic defensive tackle who can rotate in on passing downs and also slide out as a 5-tech end in certain other fronts.
There is a very good chance Henry is not available in the sixth round, as some prognosticators have him going as high as the third round, but if he does fall to the sixth, he’d be a great pickup. A consistent starter at Michigan, he recorded 11 sacks over the past two seasons. He has optimal 3-tech size at 6’3″ and about 300 pounds, and has great feet and speed to get past blockers and chase down passers.
That said, he plays high and narrow and isn’t great in the run game, and as an underclassman is still very raw and could use some coaching up. He could add some bulk and turn into a real menace in the run game if he can get his pad level down and his base opened up, but from day one he should be an effective situational pass-rushing tackle or 5-tech end with his speed. If he falls to the Raiders here, they have to go get him.
Next: Raiders Draft Wishlist: Round 7