As the Raiders head into the preseason, they must evaluate the players on the roster in order to shed those under the bar or not conducive to the system.
As any observer of the NFL and especially of the Raiders would know, the Raiders appear to be deficient at defensive tackle with Gerard Warren, Terdell Sands, William Joseph, and Ryan Boschetti.
I can hear the cries.
"But wait! Joseph could be a sleeper!"
At 30, I do not buy it.
The former top five pick Warren, who went before Richard Seymour in 2001, has left much to be desired from a player of his draft status.
Boschetti is probably just a practice squad player.
Sands lost me when he decked Shane Lechler. Sands should have gone the way of Bill Romanowski. The Raiders have tried to trade him, so we will see.
Then there was...Desmond Bryant?
That is right—an undrafted free agent from, wait for it, Harvard University.
Maybe that means nothing. There have been defensive tackles from Harvard that flopped just like other rookies. But as rookie, there is still the great unknown of what he can do.
Given the Raiders' situation at defensive tackle, I could not help but notice that. To be straightforward, I generally like the Ivy League and the traditions of the Ivy League, although I don't like every person who has graduated from the Ivy League (more than just Ted Kaczynski).
You would think, however, that a person who has graduated from the Ivy League should have the learning skills necessary to learn the schemes of new defensive coordinator John Marshall.
Especially a defensive system that plans to use schemes in order to minimize the role of the tackles. You would want the player to get the assignments right.
Every season sees the development of undrafted free agents into NFL starters and even stars.
At defensive line, Adewale Ogunleye (2000), Maake Kemoeatu (2002), and Jacques Cesaire (2003) went undrafted. As you can see, it is difficult to find undrafted free agents for the defensive line.
Moreover, I could not find much scouting information on Bryant either. All I know is that he weighs 290 lbs. and runs at around a 4.95 in the 40-yard dash.
By now, you must be wondering: Why then would I bother talking about this topic?
The answer is quite simple.
The Raiders are so thin at defensive tackle that an undrafted free agent from Harvard has better promise than Terdell Sands, William Joseph, or Ryan Boschetti.
Unless, however, the Raiders plan to schedule games against Yale, I would hope that they aggressively find another option at defensive tackle.