Name: Alex Parsons
Position: Offensive Line
Weight: 300 pounds
Parsons first two years at USC were quiet, to say the least. He entered in 2006 as a defensive tackle, but by his sophomore year, he was moved to offensive tackle. In his first two seasons, Parsons saw action in all 26 games, but his play was somewhat limited as he was primarily used in special teams. Parsons switched over to guard in 2007, and was a key backup in USC's first three games, before starting the last 10. In his senior season, Parsons was a valuable backup for the Trojans, and even got some time at center in place of the injured Kristofer O'Dowd.
Parsons was overlooked by NFL scouts because he has never been a solid fixture on USC's offensive line, instead being more of a rotational player. He helped out his cause at USC's Pro Day, measuring in at 6'3 ½" and 305 lbs. He also ran an average 40-yard dash of 4.93 and also timed a 4.55 in the short shuttle. He put up 25 repetitions on the bench press, which is fair but no ideal. His performance at Pro Day confirmed what many already assumed of Parsons: that he is a quick and athletic lineman with good feet, but needs to improve his strength.
With Jared Veldheer at tackle and Bruce Campbell beginning at right guard, the Raiders have added two important pieces to their offensive line. A quick look at the depth chart shows that the Raiders go two-deep at most positions along the line, with guys like Campbell, Chris Morris, and Khalif Barnes being able to move around. Parsons is another able body that adds versatility to the lineup. He has ample experience at guard and tackle, and is capable at center.
Given Cooper Carlisle's declining play and last year's injury concerns with Robert Gallery, Samson Satele, and Barnes, Parsons might be an undrafted free agent the Raiders will hold on to, just in case. His versatility definitely helps his cause, although he is probably better suited at guard. He also has experience in special teams, and that has been a definite focus of Cable in recent months. Parsons will have to do some work in the weight room to improve his strength and he needs to be more aggressive as a run blocker, something Offensive Coordinator really looks for in his offensive linemen.
Parsons is somewhat of a project who needs time to develop and gain some more experience, but ultimately, he might be a very nice backup down the road for the Raiders.
UDFA Rookie Profile: Alex Parsons
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