Raiders bring in Noah Fant and Devin White for an official Top-30 pre-draft visit.
Everybody knows that the Oakland Raiders have three first round picks and four in the first 34 selections. The Raiders will be looking to fill as many holes as they can with those first four picks they have. They have a glaring hole at tight end, with Jared Cook signing to play with the New Orleans Saints. If you have watched any Raiders game the past few years you also know they have a major need at their linebacker position.
The fact that White is visiting on back to back days intrigues me. The Raiders need to get a lot younger and a lot faster on their defense, especially at their linebacker position. White finished his junior season with 123 total tackles, 12 of those tackles were for loss. He did not force a lot of turnovers in college, causing only five, that is one thing he will have to work on in the NFL.
Devin White is heralded for his speed and his coverage in the passing game. He was the key cog in the vaunted LSU defense that ranked 22nd in total points allowed and 30th in total yards allowed in the NCAA FBS last season. Pro Football Focus has him graded as their top linebacker prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Devin White is LB1 on our list of top off-ball linebackers for the draft
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 11, 2019
White has draw a lot of comparisons throughout the draft process. Just last week he was compared to current Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonta David and Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis. White’s leadership is a big asset to whichever team that drafts him. Every team/scout that has interviewed him has raved about his intangibles. White’s draft stock really took off after he ran his 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. White ran the fastest 40 time out of all the linebackers, lets take a look at it:
— Overtime (@overtime) March 3, 2019
If the Raiders draft Devin White at their #4 selection or trade back and select him later, Raider Nation will rejoice in the fact that we finally have a cornerstone to pair with Gareon Conley on our defense.
This years NFL Draft is stocked with top tier tight ends. The main two are hailed from Iowa University, T.J. Hockenson & Noah Fant. The latter came to California to visit with the Raiders on April 15th. Fant would be a great addition to the Raiders offense that has already added the likes of Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. If the Raiders swipe Fant up with one of their late 1st round picks, Derek Carr will be ecstatic.
The former Hawkeye finished his junior season with 39 catches for 519 yards and seven touchdowns. Fant known for his speed averaged 13.9 yards per reception during his three year career at Iowa. The only knock on Fant’s production is his lack of pass/run blocking. If he can improve on his blocking skills he has the chance to be a big force in the NFL.
Fant has drawn comparisons to former Iowa Hawkeye, George Kittle. Mostly because of his receiving ability and his downfield speed. He took over the NFL Scouting Combine, here is his results:
Get a bag of Ice for these combine results.
Noah Fant TE IOWA
40 4.5 (1st)
Reps 20 (4th)
Vert 39.5 (1st) 6th overall👀
Broad 127 (1st) 4th overall👀
Cone 6.81 (yup, 1st) 5th o/a👀
Shuttle 4.22 (3rd)
Player Comp George Kittle pic.twitter.com/lA8cuB7Zg7
— Paulies' Sleepers (@PauliesSleepers) March 3, 2019
Like I stated earlier, the Raiders have three 1st round picks, 4th, 24th and 27th. Fant may be selected before the Raiders get a chance to acquire him at their 24th selection. But if he is still there they need to run the card to the podium themselves.
Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock need to hit on all three of these first round selections in order to turn this team around before Las Vegas in 2020. Last week Mayock said that they are grinding this week to finish their final big board, lets hope White and Fant are near the top of that board. April 25th is right around the corner, these next week and a half should be very interesting.