2013 NFL Draft Prospects Who Were Born to Play for Oakland Raiders
When you wear the silver and black, you're expected to take on an image that everyone fears.
Oakland is longing to get back to the glory days that made the team so popular in the 1970s and 1980s, and here are four players who fit that unique mold.
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
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West Virginia's Tavon Austin is one of the best receivers in this year's draft. He isn't a first-round talent at the moment, but Al Davis always managed to find hidden gems in the draft during his prime years.
At 5'9'', 174 pounds, Austin has the smaller build and the same blazing speed as Cliff Branch, one of the greatest receivers to ever wear the silver and black.
Branch could out-run any defender in the league and was the only wide receiver to be a member of all three Raiders Super Bowl teams.
Austin finished with over 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns over his last two seasons, and although the Raiders are filled with young receivers, Austin has home-run ability that is eerily close to Branch's.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
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The Raiders have always been built on angry, physical players who know how to get the job done.
Nobody fits that mold better than Utah's Star Lotulelei. The Raiders are in desperate need of an adjustment to their defensive line, and Lotulelei brings that energy and physical play they need.
Lotulelei was a very colorful and successful defensive tackle in college and would be an excellent pickup for the Raiders if he's still available at No.3.
He brings the passion and dedication that made the Raiders so popular from the 1970s all the way through the 1990s. It would be nice to see those qualities make a return to the bay.
Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
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Michael Mauti reminds me of a young Phil Villapiano on the field. Both men play the game the way it's supposed to be played: mean, physical and without a care in the world.
The Raiders got some unexpected production from linebackers Philip Wheeler and Miles Burris last season, and another physical linebacker like Mauti would make them even better.
Both Mauti and Villapiano have very similar body types at 6'2'', 220 pounds or so, and the passion to play hard football runs deep inside both players.
The Raiders could use some more of that.
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
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During the Raiders' glory days, their secondary was one of the most intimidating units in the NFL.
Willie Brown and Skip "Dr. Death" Thomas were one of the best cornerback tandems in the 1970s, and Oakland is in desperate need of a shutdown corner.
Dee Milliner is the best cornerback in this draft class, and he was one of the best defenders on a stacked Alabama team last year.
He's no Willie Brown, but Milliner has the speed and the talent to be a game-changing defensive back for a team that gave up 236 yards per game through the air last season.