Every week, we will be giving you the scoop on some top college football prospects to keep an eye on as they could be great additions to the Oakland Raiders next season. These players would be great fits with the Raiders and have some interesting matchups this week.
Here’s the guys to watch this week, and who they will be squaring off against:
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel is an elite football player. People can say whatever they want about his size, mindset, and whether or not he was paid in college. At the end of the day, Johnny Manziel is one of the greatest talents to ever grace the college football field.
Manziel makes every play you need from a quarterback and there is no stage that will rattle him. Against an Alabama defense that will have at least six future NFL starters, Manziel threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns while completing over 70 percent of his passes. If there was any doubt in Manziel, everything should have been quieted after that game.
This week he travels to Death Valley to take on the LSU Tigers who also boast numerous future NFL players on their defense. Another stellar showing by Manziel will only boost his stock that much more. With the success of shorter quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, there is no reason not to believe that Manziel won’t be a star at the NFL level and that is exactly what the Raiders need.
Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
The interior of the offensive line continues to be a question mark for the Raiders and Richardson could be an excellent addition to the line. Richardson is a massive offensive guard with a mean streak that matches the Raider mindset.
Playing at a school like Baylor — you would assume Richardson would be ineffective in the run game, but his size and strength make him an ideal fit for a power running attack. Playing at Baylor also ensures that his stamina will not be an issue as they play at an extremely high pace.
Going up against an Oklahoma St. team that leads the nation in interceptions, it will be imperative for the offensive line to keep quarterback Bryce Petty clean and give him plenty of time. Richardson will be a key part of that so watch his performance in Baylor’s biggest game of the year.
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
The need for a top flight defensive tackle is a known necessity for the Raiders and Hageman could be exactly the type of player they need. With Nick Roach continuing to grow as a linebacker, it will help his game to have a block eating defensive tackle in front of him.
At nearly 6’6 and over 300 pounds, Hageman could occupy numerous blockers at a time, but he’s far from just a space eater. Hageman is more than capable of disrupting a play due to penetration in the backfield and has above average quickness to chase down a play away from him.
His game against Wisconsin will be key for NFL scouts as the Badgers annually boast one of the largest, most productive offensive lines in college football. There is no better place to show your talent as a defensive lineman than against the Badgers, so keep an eye out for how many times Hageman’s name is called.