Raiders stay with speed on Day 2 of draft

The Raiders stayed with their speed theme as the NFL draft continued Sunday. Look at who the team picked up in the third and fourth rounds and see what SBI's Michael Wagaman has to say about Oakland's three newest additions.

MATT SHAUGNESSY

Position:
Defensive end

Pick: 3rd round, 71st overall

School: Wisconsin

Height: 6-5

Weight: 270

The skinny: Had 174 tackles in four years, including 18 ½ sacks, 22 quarterback pressures and 41 ½ tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Had 10 QB pressures, 40 tackles and four sacks as a senior and was All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2008.

Strengths: Good size and impressively long 35 ¾-inch arms that make for an imposing wingspan. Moves well up and down the line and has shown a good bull-rush move.

Weaknesses: Has a tendency to play too upright, which gets him tied up and unable to make plays on a consistent basis. Loses containment more than he should and looks awkward when dropping into coverage.

Wagaman's analysis: Another reach considering most people had Shaughnessy tabbed as a late-round pick. Then again, that's been the theme of the Raiders draft and so it's not all that surprising. Shaugnessy sounds like a guy who needs a lot of polishing up and even then might not be more than a part-time player. We won't know that for some time, obviously, but with other needs yet to be addressed -- defensive tackle, for one -- taking Shaughnessy as high as Oakland did just raises more questions. In the past few seasons the Raiders have had more problems defending the run than they have getting to the quarterback. But with a glut of DEs on the roster, the good news is that Shaughnessy will have time to grow.



LOUIS MURPHY

Position: Wide receiver

Pick: 4th round, 124th overall

School: Florida

Height: 6-2 3/8

Weight: 203

The skinny: Averaged 17.2 yards per catch and had seven TDs in 2008 but caught only 38 passes, one more than he did in ‘07. Had a history of injuries at Florida but flashed first- and second-round potential at times during his career. Seemed to pick up his game as a senior but there are still questions about his consistency and he impressed scouts with a 4.32 40 at the Combine.

Strengths: Possesses world-class speed, which is what the Raiders love more than anything else, and he showed an ability to race past receivers in college. That won't be a luxury in the NFL and Oakland already has its straight-line speedster in first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey. But Murphy is also a guy who can go across the middle, which is what the Raiders need.

Weaknesses: Had some inconsistency issues catching the ball early in his career and isn't very good making things happen when he does hold onto the ball. Playing in the Gators' spread offense, where receivers have historically had a problem translating their college success to the NFL game, doesn't help either. Doesn't block downfield very well, either.

Wagaman's analysis: A classic Al Davis pick because of the speed factor and another project player who is going to need time to develop. Murphy has a lot of the intangibles to be a great player but they have yet to surface and his speed will only carry him so far. It reminds me in a lot of ways of the Carlos Francis pick a few years ago. But unlike Francis, whose smallish frame made it difficult for him to play in the NFL, Murphy is a big receiver who, if he pans out, could be a perfect No. 3 target for quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

SLADE NORRIS

Position: OLB

Pick: 4th round, 126th overall

School: Oregon State

Height: 6-2 ½

Weight: 236

The skinny: Started his college career as an outside linebacker before moving to defensive end the last two seasons, but will likely go back to outside linebacker with in Oakland. Was primarily a pass-rush specialist in 2007 but started 13 games in ‘08 and really upped his production, finishing with 10 sacks and 18 ½ tackles for losses.

Strengths: Very speedy linebacker who plays from whistle to whistle and rarely takes a play off. Started his college career as a walk-on at Oregon State then worked his way into the starting lineup, which shows heart. Will also make a big impact on special teams.

Weaknesses: Too small to be effective against the run as an end, which is why he was projected to play linebacker at the NFL level. Doesn't do a good job of shedding blocks, which prevents him from making plays. Very raw in terms of technique.

Wagaman's analysis: And yet another player who the Raiders likely could have taken in the later rounds but felt the need to get him early. Norris needs to bulk up to play against the run but the Raiders see him more as a pass-rushing linebacker. Oakland already has its three starters -- Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard and Ricky Brown - so it's not like the team needs Norris to step in on defense right away. Best comparison would be possibly to Travian Smith, the former Oakland linebacker who had good speed but lacked the intangibles to be successful. Norris has some upside but I see him more as a special teams player than anything else.

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