With the tenth overall pick in the 2018 Steven Ridley NFL Mock Draft, the Oakland Raiders select:
Roquan Smith; Linbacker from the University of Georgia.
Does anyone remember Derrick Brooks. Looking back at some of his highlights, I do wish I was more of a football fan back then than I am currently. Nevermind his quickness and anticipation, his instincts were legendary for a 4-3 Outside Linebacker. Know what I also remember? John Gruden being the man as his Head Coach. Why do I keep mentioning Derrick Brooks thus far you may ask? Roquan Smith plays a near identical game in the equivalent of the legendary linebacker. He has the quickness, anticipation and instincts you’d want from a top 15 selection. His sideline to sideline speed is easily tops in the class among linebackers and he is one of the best coverage linebackers in the game. All that said though, why was he not a top 10 selection then? The answer is in the finite details. Teams are getting away from these smaller and shorter linebackers and are looking for the “Next Generation” of linebacking in the mold of Tremaine Edmunds/Leighton Vander Esch. Part of this reason lies within the new era of “Sub Package” football. The other reason lies within linebacker’s like Roquan Smith needing a monstrous defensive line in front of him to fully access his capabilities. His game against Oklahoma is exactly what he will be struggling with on a daily basis should he not receive support from the defensive line. However, with the likes of Eddie Vanderous, Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis, having enough man power will be little issue for Smith.