Roquan Smith has been frequently associated with the Raiders, and the comparison one NFL Draft analyst made for the former Georgia linebacker should make Oakland fans giddy.

“You look at Jon Gruden, having been around Derrick Brooks, I think you could see a little bit of Derrick Brooks in a guy like Roquan Smith,” said Daniel Jeremiah, a NFL Network analyst and former NFL scout. “That would make some sense there.”

Brooks played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1995-2008, which included Gruden’s entire seven-year tenure as head coach for the team. Brooks made 11 Pro Bowls, nine All-Pro teams, received one Defensive Player of the Year award and won a Super Bowl. In 2014, Brooks entered the Hall of Fame.

If Oakland selects Smith with the 10th pick and he becomes anything close to the same player during his career, the Raiders will have hit the jackpot. While there are a handful of options for the Raiders at No. 10, especially on defense with the team’s plethora of needs on that side of the ball, no name has popped up in mock drafts and chatter more than Smith.

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He tallied 137 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, two passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble for the Bulldogs last season en route to their appearance in the national championship. He won the 2017 Butkus Award as the country’s top linebacker. Both he and Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds are considered the clear-cut top two at the position in the class, but Smith seems to have a slight edge.

His addition could be even more vital if the Raiders don’t re-sign NaVorro Bowman, leaving the middle linebacker spot up in the air. Oakland currently features …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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