The Oakland Raiders are in need of help at several positions, and that help could come by way of players at the NFL Combine. Here are the winners and losers of Day 3.
It would behoove the Oakland Raiders to improve on both sides of the ball, considering the stiff competition in the AFC West. With the NFL Combine officially underway, this obviously is where most of the players who could help improve the team are at.
The Raiders have needs in several areas, and with Latavius Murray expected to depart via free agency, running back is one of the positions Reggie McKenzie certainly has his eye on at the Combine.
And with the 26th ranked defense in 2016, virtually any position on the defensive side of the ball could use an influx of talent.
With Day 3 of the combine workouts in the books, here are three winners and losers at positions of need for the Raiders.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey has been doubted throughout his college career, mainly because he is caucasian at a position dominated by African-Americans. On Day 3 of the Combine, McCaffrey showed out across the board.
In the 40-yard dash, the former Heisman finalist clocked in at 4.48 seconds, placing in the top five amongst backs. McCaffrey’s 6.57 second 3-cone time is the best amongst all running backs since 2003.
His leaping skills were also on full display, as McCaffrey notched a 37.5-inch vertical jump. For comparison, that’s 1/2″ inch more than Mike Evans jumped in 2014.
But it was the receiving drills that allowed McCaffrey to exhibit his agility and cutting ability. He had a huge day, and cemented himself as a lock for the first round.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
Pitt running back James Conner’s beat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2016, and now he’s beating up the Combine.
The bruiser showed exceptional speed for his size, notching a 4.65 40-time.
Conner also showed off his strength on the bench press, recording 20 reps. In the vertical jump, Conner posted a respectable 29 inches.
In need of a power back, Conner could be a great value option for the Raiders in a mid-round.
Cam Robinson, LT, Alabama
While defense is a need for the Raiders, Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn will be 34 in April. With the No. 24 pick, Oakland may look to take the best player available. Tackle Cam Robinson showed why he deserves a look if he’s still around.
In the 40-yard dash, Robinson timed at 5.1 seconds, remarkable for a 322 pound man. He looked exceptional in the lineman drills, showing good footwork and hip movement.
And on film, he’s arguably the top tackle in this class. He could fill in immediately at right tackle, and then slide to the left side once Penn eventually retires.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
On the bright side, running back Leonard Fournette’s 4.51 40-time is the fastest of any back 240 pounds or more. On the contrary, Fournette sputtered in other drills.
His 28.5″ vertical jump paled in comparison to the rest of the elite names in the backfield group. Overall, Fournette’s inconsistent day did nothing but increase talk of Florida State back Dalvin Cook being equal, if not better.
Chad Wheeler, OT, USC
USC tackle Chad Wheeler underwhelmed on Day 3 of the combine for offensive linemen.
On the bench press, Wheeler notched just 15 reps, tied for lowest amongst participants.
In the vertical jump, he leapt just 20.5 inches. He also looked rough in the positional drills, and his stock certainly took a hit due to the poor showing.
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
Texas running back D’Onta Foreman has been a constant name mentioned in a top-heavy running back corp. Unfortunately, Foreman didn’t get a chance to prove his value due to a stress fracture in his foot.
This is a big missed opportunity to seal a first round selection, and prove himself as top-tier prospect. Now Foreman must rely on impressive interviews and his film as he looks to get healthy.