Raiders scouts descend on Stanford pro day
A number of Raiders employees were on hand to watch Stanford’s pro day Thursday, which featured a few highly-rated NFL prospects.
Offensive tackle Andrus Peat is the highest-rated Stanford prospect, followed by wide receiver Ty Montgomery and defensive back Alex Carter.
Included in Oakland’s armada of personnel was defensive backs coach Marcus Roberson, presumably to check in on Carter, who might transition to safety should he be drafted.
Though closer in proximity to Stanford than Oakland, the 49ers didn’t have any more than three scouts present. Raiders scouts outnumbered every other team two to one.
It makes sense, too, since both Montgomery and Peat can help fill two of the largest needs on their roster.
Montgomery ran an unofficial 4.28 second 40-yard-dash on his first go, and clocked in at 4.50 seconds on the next one, though he slipped at the start.
Montgomery wowed those in attendance. Known for his acceleration, Montgomery’s combine numbers didn’t match what scouts see on tape. His pro day did, though, and should increase his stock moving towards draft day.
Montgomery also posted a 6.98 second three-cone time and a 4.20 20-yard-shuttle time.
Had he run a 4.28 second 40-yard-dash at the combine, Montgomery would have tied for the fastest player there.
Peat, who will be drafted before any other Stanford player this year, participated in position specific drills. Simplified, he showed off his practical wingspan, strength, and agility.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) March 19, 2015
It’s assumed Peat will be a Top 10 selection come April, though there are question marks for Montgomery and the rest of the group.
It’s unlikely Montgomery will be drafted in the first round, but could be taken as early as the second and as late as the fifth.
As far as Carter, inside linebacker A.J. Tarpley, outside linebacker James Vaughters, safety Jordan Richards and the rest of the declared class, their futures will likely be decided by how well they interview.
The physical work is only half the battle, albeit a very important half.
Following the workouts, different teams will meet with prospects and ask them questions ranging from their hobbies, to specific plays from a season ago, checking on why something did or didn’t happen.
Montgomery, Peat and Carter can greatly increase their stock should their interviews go well.
Where they should be drafted
Andrus Peat will be taken in the first eight picks, and could go in the first three to five selections. Left tackles are not common — few NFL teams have a long-term guy.
Peat has also shown a penchant for run blocking, which means he could play on the right side just as well.
Ty Montgomery should be drafted on Day Two, but I’m not so sure he will. His combine performance was disappointing, though his 40 time at Stanford turned heads.
Why this matters? The combine is meant to exhaust athletes mentally before they get to the physical portion — weigh-ins, interviews, up at 4 a.m., down at 11 p.m. for three straight days before the workouts.
It’s a calculated approach to drain players so teams can then evaluate them through the rigors of an NFL season.
The difference tells scouts that Montgomery needs rest to perform well, which is totally normal. It may hurt him nonetheless.
Alex Carter is a toss up. He could go on Day Two, since the draft is weak at corner, or he could sign as an undrafted free agent.
My bet is Carter gets drafted in the third or fourth round and works his butt off to make an impact on special teams. He doesn’t scream exceptional in any facet, but if he shows teams a willingness to switch to free safety, his stock will climb.
It’s hard to imagine others present Thursday to be drafted before the fourth round. Tarpley will likely be the first taken from that second batch, and it’s really anyone’s guess as to who goes next. It’s entirely possible they become priority free agents.
Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.