Raider Power Rapid Fire: NFL Careers

The staff discusses which Texas Tech NFL free agent signee will have the best pro career, what the Red Raider baseball team needs to do to earn a tournament spot, possible Big 12 football championship, eating contests and more.

Though Tech didn't have anyone selected in the NFL Draft last week, Bradley Marquez and V.J. Fehoko signed free agent contracts shortly after with the Rams and Browns respectively. Sam Eguavoen and Kenny Williams are among those who could also get free agent looks. Out of this group who has the best shot of a NFL career and why?

Alyssa: I think Marquez has the best shot, he did a lot of good things at Tech and has the most potential to excel at the next level.

Cameron: Bradley Marquez. Defensive players post-Spike Dykes era have not been successful in the NFL, even Dwayne Slay.. Meanwhile, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola were widely overlooked because of their size. Marquez has that size, so I think he'll have an easier time breaking into the lineup. After all, it is Wide Receiver U.

Jarret: Probably Marquez, but I think Kenny Williams has an excellent shot at making it as a special teams player. Tech is really going to miss him on the coverage teams.

Joe: Marquez. If he hadn't developed a case of the dropsies last season, he might have been a late-round selection. He's got the size and the toughness to be an NFL receiver. He's also an outstanding blocker and a stand-up presence in the locker room.

Zach: I'd say Bradley Marquez for multiple reasons - no Air Raid stigma in STL (Austin/Bailey), fellow UDFA Cody Davis will likely mentor him, Rams didn't draft/sign many other WRs, etc.

There's been a lot of chatter of the Big 12 possibly adding a championship game at the end of the football season without adding any teams. Are you in favor of this potential move or not?

Alyssa: I'm a fan of the Big 12 Championship game, but don't think it's absolutely necessary. More football and I'm happy.

Cameron: I'm against it, but if you're going to do it, then I think it should be played at the opposite field of the original game. For example, if Texas Tech played Kansas in Lawrence, then send the Big 12 title game to Lubbock. I look forward to the debate on neutral sites coming up.

Jarret: As a fan I love the Big 12 Championship game. I think the perception is the Big 12 is a lesser conference because it doesn't have the hype and ceremonial championship. Whether it will help send a Big 12 team to the playoffs or not is up for debate in my opinion. Just don't ever name co-champs again. Please.

Joe: Given that landing a team in the playoffs seems to be the primary reason for a conference even playing football, and if playing a championship game improves the odds of that happening, I suspect Bowlsby had no choice. And I'm sure the numbers crunchers told him that, generally speaking, a championship game is more likely to help than hurt in that regard. So I'm marginally in favor of this move.

Zach: Absolutely, as long as it's held at the stadium of the team with the best record in the Big XII (after tiebreakers). You want to give the best team a good shot at making the Playoff.

Tech was swept by Grand Canyon last week, but responded by taking the two games in Austin over the weekend. How much work does Tech have left to get in to the tourney?

Alyssa: They need to win in Morgantown, sweep would be even better. On top of that make it to the championship game of the Big 12 tourney to stand a chance.

Cameron: Oh, the midweek games. Yes, they hurt the record and the RPI, but I believe the committee understands that power conference teams aren't throwing their aces in the these games. The mid-major teams do throw their aces. Remember, this is taken into account. I think Tech slips in. The NCAA likes to go after dollars, and placing a scrub northern team from the absolutely pathetic Big Ten Conference isn't the way to make money. Advantage Tech.

Jarret: They have to win the WVU series and make a very good showing in the tournament. If they do that, I would think they have a good shot.

Joe: Tech must win the series at West Virginia, and a sweep would be even better, but is probably not absolutely necessary. Then Tech must have an excellent showing in the B12 tourney. If the Red Raiders get bounced early, they can fuhgeddaboutit.

Zach: Somehow Tech is hanging around in the polls despite having a pretty bad RPI. They need to clean up that RPI by sweeping the struggling 'Eers, who have lost 8 of their last 10, and catching fire in Tulsa.

Who was your favorite Texas Tech interview, what was the reason or subject matter for the interview and when did it take place?

Alyssa: Although I haven't done a one-on-one interview, Dominic Moreno has been my favorite Tech player to talk with after games.

Cameron: It was fun to interview Will Smith as soon as he got drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but Jakeem Grant and I just hit it off. It might be because we are both short compared to what is considered "normal". Whatever the case is, Jakeem is by far the easiest player to speak with. Despite a down season in 2014, I still consider him the most electrifying player in the NCAA. You just can't top a player who can juke defenders going backwards and still gain yardage.

Jarret: Branden Jackson during local media days last fall. It was a video interview and B-Jack just killed it. He had me rolling, made some excellent points and had us all pumped for the start of the season. Every interview with Mike Smith is a close second.

Joe: Brandon Carter was actually an excellent interview. Judging by his appearance and reputation, you might think he'd be a hateful wild-man, but in actuality, he was extremely respectful (yes sir, no sir), thoughtful and articulate. I interviewed him at least a couple of times following practice when he was an upperclassman.

Zach: The 2nd interview I did for First and Monday with Coach Kingsbury, back in December. I wasn't as nervous the second time and gained a lot of insight from him. It's a great read, and that's when I considered writing about Tech sports in more than a freelance role.

Have you ever competed in an eating contest? If so, break it down for us. If not, what was the most you have ever eaten in one setting and why?

Alyssa: No, I have not. Crawfish is the one food that I can eat loads of in one sitting, best time of the year.

Cameron: No, but I have been a swimmer. About the age of 11 I swam for KOAST (Klein Oak Area Swim Team) and on the way home there was this BBQ restaurant called KD's. My mother would have to make daily stops almost because when you are a swimmer, you are ALWAYS HUNGRY. I'd eat a full pound of chopped beef to my lonesome and dig into the sliced beef too. It still was not enough. Sadly, it fell victim to the Spring, Texas syndrome of the best places closing down. My last remaining childhood restaurant still around is El Palenque off I-45. I refuse to drive through my old stomping grounds.

Jarret: I have participated in one, though it was unofficial. In high school the whole football team would go and try bankrupt Cici's after practice by swarming the buffet. Naturally, a competition sprung up between two of my friends (both half my size) who were really putting it away. So we set up an eating contest with some sophomoric punishment for the two losers and someone even filmed it. Bottom line is this: I bowed out first at 23 pieces, second place dude puked at 35 and the winner, who is not fat at all, ate 46 pieces of pizza in one setting. It blew my mind.

Joe:  I have not, but my brother took part in a jalapeno-eating contest down in Houston several years ago. The method was that you ate four raw jalapenos and then a habanero. You repeated this pattern until you died. My bro came in third, and upheld the family name.

Zach: I stopped at an old favorite of mine in Katy, Captain Tom's. I hadn't eaten all day for some reason and I was super hungry. I put down four bowls of gumbo (with crackers) and a half dozen boiled shrimp. Love that place.

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