The Oakland Raiders defense is far from average, if anything, you can say they are flat out bad. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o may be the presence on defense that the Raiders need.
Any team that drafts Te’o, is going to get a leader and a hard-working player on defense. Te’o could be the best inside linebacker in the draft this year. The Raiders are actually pretty set at linebacker, but they could use a guy with a heart like Te’o.
Notre Dame remain perfect on the year, and Te’o is a huge contributor. He has had six games this season that he has recorded 10 or more tackles. He also has six interceptions this year, so he has shown that he is not only good as a tackler, but can play the ball well in the zone.
Te’o stands at 6-2, and is 255 pounds, which is perfect size for an inside linebacker, but more for the 3-4 defense. That does not mean it is impossible for the Raiders to draft him, it just makes it less likely to actually happen.
Notre Dame is more of a defensive team, which sadly for the Raiders, is what they expected their team to look like. The Raiders may want to focus on the secondary more than the front seven, but if they feel like they could get a steal and they draft in value, this is a possibility. It is too early to determine the way that teams will view the depth of this year’s draft class, so it could influence how the Raiders approach the draft.
Raiders’ prospect grade: B