Will Cal Center Alex Mack Be the Raiders' Choice?

Jeff Little@@JeffLittle32Senior Writer IMarch 19, 2009

A contingent from the Oakland Raiders including head coach Tom Cable, offensive line coach Jim Michalczik and line assistant Chris Morgan converged on Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of California to take a closer look at Center Alex Mack.

There were at least 20 teams represented at the Cal pro day. Mack is one of the best center prospects in this year’s draft and the focus of everyone’s attention.

The Raiders will rank him higher then several other teams due to the fact that he is an excellent fit for their offense. He has played in a zone blocking system similar to the one the Raiders use d the past four years. He has also been named first-team all-conference for three consecutive years.

If you ask several people, the idea of drafting a center with the seventh overall pick in the draft would be entirely too high. But the next logical question would be will Mack be available in the second round at pick No. 40?

He has been projected by scouts as a guy that can go in the second or third round; there has been talk of him being selected late in the first round. As far as the center prospects in this draft the word depth comes to mind.

Coach Cable kind of rebuffed the thought of drafting a center with the seventh pick by stating he didn’t think it was too high to make the pick when you’re in need of a center and as we all know the Raiders are in need of a center with Jake Grove signing with Miami.

This could be a continuation of the pre-draft smoke screen that several teams release so no one knows which way they are leaning regarding their draft choices. I also don’t think the team will select him in round one. Moving past where the pick is made and focusing on the player and the position.

Alex Mack is stands tall at 6’4” and weighs 312 pounds. He is very tough, smart, durable and highly competitive. He is a guy that puts in a full effort on every play, he is often seen getting downfield for a second or third block. He is known as a technician that has quick feet to lead screens, trap block inside, and simply eliminate linebackers on the second level.

He is an excellent run blocker with a solid lower-body that allows him to put his man on his back the majority of the time. He has an edge, gets into his blocks quickly, keeps his feet moving, plays to the whistle with intensity, and really seeks to finish blocks.

Mack helped to pave the way for a Cal team that averaged 165.7 rushing yards per game with nine individual 100-yard efforts. His strengths are intelligence, size, leadership, and athleticism.

Coach Cable and coach Michalczik have Cal ties, but this fact was kept under wraps during the pro day. Alex Mack performed well at his pro day, I doubt he has moved into the first round, but anything can happen on draft day.


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